There are few things we can give to God. All we have and all we are or ever will be comes from Him. However, we can give Him thanks, praise and worship. Of these three, thanksgiving is the foundational key to an attitude of victory.
Thankful Christians are victorious Christians. Complainers abide in the wilderness. Thanksgivers move into the promised land. Here are a few ways that Thanksgiving brings you into victory:
1. Thanksgiving puts clout in our shout.
In I Samuel Chapter four, the Israelites had lost their first battle to the Philistines. They decided they needed God's help so they brought the Arc of the Covenant into the camp. When it arrived everyone gave a huge shout, so great that the earth shook. When they went out to battle they took the Arc (which represented the presence of God) with them. Nevertheless, they were defeated because their leaders Hophni, Phinehas were wicked men. They had a shout but it lacked clout because there was sin in the camp. Sin weakens the power of a believer's shout. We can't abide in sin and say we are truly thankful. If we were we would repent.
True heartfelt thanks from a person with a right heart has an anointing on it that can't be duplicated by the sinner. The shout of a truly thankful person has power to dispel darkness and bring victory. When the Children of Israel consecrated themselves and marched around the city of Jericho 7 times and then shouted. There was clout in their shout. When Paul and Silas worshipped God in the Philippian Jail there was clout in their shout that set them free.
A truly thankful Christian is a powerful victorious Christian. This is why the devil tries to steal our joy. He can't steal it unless he can get us to focus on the negative side of life. If he can get us into ingratitude he can give us an attitude that will make us weak. Focus on the victory side of life and stay thankful for what you have while you believe for what God promises.
2. Thanksgiving moves us into God's Presence.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4). It is impossible to really praise God with ingratitude in our hearts. We can't even get into the outer court of God's presence without an attitude of gratitude. The first step to entering His presence is to thank Him. When we start thanking Him the anointing comes upon us; praise bursts forth from our heart; joy wells up and we are moving toward the holy place. The fastest way into the manifest presence of God is Thanksgiving.
3. Thanksgiving Inspires Service.
People who are truly thankful want to help others. We have a young man in our church who just got saved a little over a year ago. He was working serving the Lord one day, and I told him how much I appreciated him. He said, "After all the Lord has done for me, by saving me and setting me free, this is the least I could do."
4. Thanksgiving Seals Our Prayers with Faith.
My wife makes some of the tastiest jam in the world. She uses organic sugar, and locally grown strawberries. She puts it all in jars and then puts them in hot water and then seals the lids on. This keeps the jam from spoiling. Then on a cold winter morning with breakfast we have a treat. I call it Pam Jam. The taste is far superior to anything you can buy in the store. We popped open a jar this morning as a matter of fact. In order for the jam to stay protected from spoilage the jar has to be sealed. So it is with our prayers. They need to be sealed with faith. Faith is the seal that keeps the prayers from being spoiled until they bring forth a manifestation. That is why the Apostle Paul tells us:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).
Thanksgiving is the seal for our prayers. It takes faith to Thank God for something before it manifests. Faith keeps the peace in our hearts until God brings forth the answer to our prayers.
I could write much more on the benefits of Thankfulness, but it's time to relax and give thanks.
Have a very blessed Thanksgiving.
Dr Darrell Ellis
Anointed Word International Fellowship