Friday, September 22, 2017

Fighting Back with Thanksgiving


Yesterday was World Gratitude Day, and I almost missed it. It had been one of those weeks. You've probably had them. If it weren't for bad news, there wouldn't be any news at all. Yeah. That kind of week.

I'm still doing ministry full-time, in addition to taking care of Sam night and day. I was tired and struggling to keep up with everything I needed to do. Then, the bad-news-blows started. Wham. Wham. Wham. I felt defeated and distraught. I cried a bucket of tears, and had a whiny-girl moment that lasted a little too long. 

I'd begun to think, "This must be warfare," but I didn't do anything about it. I know what I should do when the enemy of our soul attacks. Get my armor on and wield my only offensive weapon, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 

I know about spiritual warfare, but I didn't engage. 

Instead, I lifted my shield of faith and kept saying, I know God can handle this, I know God will take care of this... 

God can handle my problems. He can take care of everything I face, and He will. But that isn't wielding a weapon. That's nothing more than hiding behind my shield of faith and letting the "fiery darts" rain down.

Late yesterday afternoon, I headed home, after another Wham of possibly bad news, when Psalm 50 came to mind. You probably know this verse, too. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I had a few suggestions for God's cattle and how they could help with my worries, until I remembered the "next" page. 

In my Bible, the "cattle on a thousand hills" verse is in the lower right hand corner. If you turn the page, the "sacrifice of thanksgiving" is on the upper left hand corner. 

Using the Scripture prompt to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving is an action that wields the Sword of the Spirit, so I began reciting a list of things for which I'm grateful. Pretty soon, I felt better. None of the problems I'm facing had changed, but my perception was different. 

Here's the routine for Sacrifice of Thanksgiving:
1) Offer thanksgiving when you don't feel thankful (That makes it a sacrifice)
2) Keep your promises to God (that's paying your vows)
3) Call upon God in the day of trouble. (Note: Calling upon God comes AFTER thanking Him and doing your part to obey.)
4) God will rescue you and you will honor Him.  

Rescue, according to this passage, doesn't start with relief from your problems. It starts with thanksgiving. 

Are you having a difficult time? Are you beleaguered and worn out from the cares of this world? Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and keep thanking God until you see Him move on your behalf. 

It's that easy.

"Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me." Psalm 50:14,15 nasb
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*** Please pray for our team as we minister at the Whisper Gathering today and tomorrow. Pray for the ladies who will join us to have safe trips, willing hearts, and that God will be present and glorified in all we do.
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When the Last Trumpet Sounds

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