Have you ever had a week that came from hell itself? Did you feel like all of the devil’s minions placed targets on your back?
One year, I went on a fantastic vacation, but weird things began to happen the moment I got back. I lost my wallet and had to replace all my accounts, leaving me with no access to funds for a week. My car engine died, leaving me without a car. Tendinitis formed in my wrists, making everything painful, and my knees randomly started swelling, making it almost impossible to bend them and walk around.
Oh, and this all happened in the same week.
It’s a good thing I didn’t have any pets. If I did, I’m confident they would have died.
When I went to God in prayer about it, this is all I heard the Lord say: “Your weapon is thankfulness.” I had no idea what He meant, so I started researching.
POINT 1: Thankfulness Is the Gospel.
First, I looked up the word “thankful” in the Bible, and the first verse I found was Colossians 3:15:
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
The word “thankful” here is translated from the word eucharistos. The “eu” part means “to prosper, acting well, well done.” The “charistos” part means “to give graciously, to deliver, and to forgive.”
When put together, it is translated as “thankful” or, more directly, “I am well because I am forgiven.” It occurred to me that this summarizes the entire Gospel in a single line.
Every time I choose thankfulness, I am preaching the Gospel! When we say, “Thank you, God, for my house, my job, my friends, my coffee, etc.,” we remind our hearts that “I am doing well with my house, job, friends, coffee, etc. because Jesus has forgiven me.”
POINT 2: Thankfulness Is Communion With God.
Reflecting on thankfulness to God was so important to the early Church. They called communion “the Eucharist” after the word for thankful, “eucharistos.”
It makes sense. Taking communion was (and still is) how believers remember the Body and Blood of Jesus and that His people are well because Christ forgives them.
Every time we choose to be thankful, therefore, we are taking communion in our hearts.
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POINT 3: Thankfulness Is a Throne for God.
Psalms 22:3 “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.”
Thankfulness sets up a throne for God in the middle of whatever situation in which He finds you.
Now think about this: If God is enthroned when we speak thankfulness and praise in a situation, who do you think is enthroned when we speak out complaints and negativity?
We tend to overestimate the power of our good intentions and underestimate the power of our words. We often complain, and then follow it up with something like, “You know my heart.”
When a situation hits my life — my car breaks down, my wallet is lost, a family member snaps at me, a bill costs way more than I thought it would, a tragedy hits my life — I have a choice to set up one throne or another based on my words.
I won’t get breakthrough in any area where I set up a throne for the devil.
Point 4: Thankfulness Is a Weapon.
The Hebrew word for thankfulness can also be translated “to shoot an arrow” or “to cast out.”
When I speak out thanksgiving for something, I am shooting spiritual arrows into that area, casting out any darkness there. Thankfulness fires an arrow directly into the devil’s territory with the power to cast out demonic strongholds.
When I speak hatred, negativity, or complaints, however, I am shooting arrows of darkness into that area.
A spiritual war surrounds us in this world, and we support one side or the other, depending upon the words we speak.
We have a lot of friendly fire among Christians. We pray to God to impact our nation, and then we trash our leaders in the same breath. We must stay aware of the weapons in our words that manifest good … or evil.
Point 5: Thankfulness Is Prayer.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people…
Why does this passage place thanksgiving in the same category as petition, prayer, and intercession? Because all these constitute spiritual warfare!
The Apostle Paul wrote this verse when kings were killing Christians, burning them at the stake. If Paul can thank God for a government that was killing Christians, I can certainly thank God for someone I disagree with.
Point 6: Thankfulness Is a Sacrifice.
Psalms 50:23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.
A sacrifice always hurts. It costs us something painful; otherwise, it isn’t a real sacrifice.
So why would God say in this verse that giving thanks is a sacrifice? Because sometimes you have to die to yourself to give thanks.
Sometimes choosing to speak out thankfulness is painful. Sometimes we are in so much pain that saying what we are thankful for feels like a sacrifice.
What do you think?
Are we faking when we speak thankfulness even when we don’t feel it? Absolutely not. We are honoring God with a sacrifice — whether it is easy or difficult to give is of no consequence. God makes us thankful in the same way He makes us faithful and gives us words to pray when we cannot. It is the fact of the giving that matters … the fact of obedience, faith, and submission to Him. “Believe and you will see.”