You can pass through His open gates with the password of praise. Come right into His presence with thanksgiving. Come bring your thank offering to HIm and affectionately bless His beautiful name! Ps 100:4 TPT
If thanksgiving is how we enter directly into the presence of God why as Christians are we not walking in this truth? Why are we making everything all about us instead of all about Him. Jesus is great and He is greatly to be praised. When we direct all our focus and attention on Him our lives begin to reflect how grand and glorious He truly is.
I first began to see the importance of this truth while listening to a church/prayer house out of Dallas called Upper Room. The leader, Michael Miller, spoke several times how each of their services begin with thanksgiving and praise focused directly on God. Such a simple truth and yet so profound.
I began taking time every morning when I awoke to practice the truth of thankfulness. On many occasions I felt redundant and short on words because I tend to be thankful for the same things each and every day. But God takes my little and turns it into a whole lot more. And as time progressed I began to find more and more things to be thankful for because we serve an amazing God who is so good to us.
As I learned how to develop a lifestyle of thanksgiving and praise, life would throw me some opportunities and situations were I would have to make a choice between grumbling and worrying vs. praise and thanksgiving. I had to learn how to be thankful and praise during the storm, how to find God’s truth, still be thankful, and speak God’s truth and words of thanksgiving vs. worry, grumbling and fear.
A recent example involves some stuff I was facing on my job that involved some old feelings and mindsets to rise to the surface. Because the area of attack involved old mindsets and mentalities I would experience small victories every day but I was not winning the war that was raging around me every day.
Worry, fear, and feelings of inadequacies were my constant companions during this storm. I recognized their voices and I recognized and knew these were not the voice of God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit they were familiar voices and they did their best to get me to partner with them and take my focus off of God.
I do not know about you but for me it seems to take a desperate moment in the midst of the battle for me to fall on my face before Jesus and say I can’t do this anymore. I am weak and I need your strength in this battle. In that moment of desperation God gets my full attention and says “REMEMBER the time I delivered you from this in the past!!!!!” Right then and there the storm stops and the sun begins to shine again. A greater level of thanksgiving hits me because God was, is, and always has been strong in the midst of my storm. He always sees me through it and He has never left me alone in the storm. He is faithful, He is strong, He is truth, light, life and so much more.
Why does it take us so long to discover how good God really is? Why do we believe the truth of the storm and the past over believing the truth of God’s word? If we are to have the faith of a child, then a child always believe their parents will take care of any and every situation that arises. Even an abused child still loves and believes in their parents. If a child can believe in their mother and/or father no matter how good or bad then how much more should we believe in our heavenly father? He is always good and He is always there for us. Daddy God is so approachable and He longs for you to go to Him, to fellowship with Him, to love Him as He loves you. If you are afraid for whatever reason to approach Daddy God then ask Jesus to take you to His Father. He loves to take people to His father and He loves for people to know His Father as He does.
To help you get started on developing a lifestyle of thanksgiving, below are a few declarations you can begin to say. Use this but begin to ask God how you can make this more personal, how you can make this your own so it becomes something special between you and God.
Thank you for Your faithfulness
Thank you for Your protection
Thank you for Your abundant extravagant love towards me
Thank you for Your provision
Thank you that You are always with me
Thank you for Your joy and peace
Thank you that You are always for me
Thank You that You have made me the head and not the tail, above and not beneath
Thank You for wisdom to make the right choices and to know what to say and when to say it
Thank you for your favor
And here is a great song to also help you get started.