March 30, 2021

A Neglected Key to God’s Presence

By Pastor Derrick D’souza

    By Pastor Derrick D’souza

Some principles in the kingdom of God have been heard and preached way too many times that some of us have even stopped considering or doing it. Being thankful or being a person of gratitude is one such principle. The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philp 4:6)

Here are 4 reasons we must be thankful:

1/ Thanksgiving is our key to God’s presence

The Word of God says to enter His presence with thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4), not with anger, grumbling or bitterness. We come to Him with great joy, recollecting all the good things He has done for us.

Imagine being unappreciated in your own life. Despite all that you do, all you receive is grumbling, constant complaints about what is not good, and always asking for more.

Thanksgiving takes us closer to God

How do you feel? Yet, that is how we are often-times with God. We come with a list of things we want God to answer, change and fix. But we miss out on thanking Him.

When we learn to be a person filled with gratitude, our hearts become receptive, and now we can enter the throne of grace and receive.

2/ Thanksgiving transforms us

Thanksgiving requires us to THINK. It requires intentionality. Studies have shown that if a person takes time each day to think and list out 20 things, they are thankful for, it will have a profound effect on their mental stability, releasing every stress, anxiety, worry and depression.

Life application: The moment you wake up in the morning, start thanking God. Thank Him for your life and everything in it. There are just too many reasons to thank Him (Psalm 103:1-4)

3/ Thanksgiving produces contentment

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philp 4:13

Many like to quote the above verse, but don’t really understand its context. Do you know what makes you a person who can do all things through Christ? The answer is in a couple of verses before.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philp 4:11-12

The roots of contentment lie in thanksgiving. A thankful person is a content person. He is not easily moved by trials and tribulations. Take something out of his life, and he will have ten other things to thank God for. Because he is not in it for what God can do, but for what God has already done and He can do all things through Christ.

Apostle Paul knew what it meant to be content. His secret was this- his expectation was not too low nor too high, but on Jesus. Let your joy, happiness and celebration be all about Jesus.

4/ It shows the condition of our heart

Being thankful helps us to remember the goodness of God. When we fail to give thanks, we take His blessings for granted, and our hearts can become hard (Mark 6:50-52).

Complaining requires no effort, but to develop an attitude of gratitude takes work. Don’t wait to give thanks to God for what He is going to do for you. Instead, thank Him for what He has already done for you. As Phil 1:6 says, the communication of your faith will become effective when you start acknowledging what God has already done for you.

An ungrateful person takes God and the people and blessings in his life for granted. And this is one of the signs of last days about which Apostle Paul says in 2 Tim 3: 1-2“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.”

When a person does not acknowledge God as the Giver of all good gifts (James 1:17), it can lead to pride and self-focus or selfishness. When selfishness creeps in, the person starts seeking the fulfilment of his desires, leading to a downward spiral of sin and you end up becoming a people pleaser.

In conclusion, I pray that we will always be a thankful generation!

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