By: Angela Lawley
The air is crisp; the leaves are falling, pumpkins are out and decorated. It's the time of year when we start planning our Thanksgiving dinners and reflecting on what we are thankful for. As we pause and look back on this year, are you going to be thankful? I get that it might be hard for some to see the blessings in this year, understandably so, but they are there. They are there because God is there. During these next few weeks, as we start to wrap up 2020, let's focus on what Yahweh has done for us.
The blessings from giving thanks are clear. Not only does it change your outlook on life, but it also sets us up to be blessed by God. There are blessings when we fill our hearts with thanksgiving even through the bad times. I know that it is hard to think about. Usually, this is the last thing on our minds. It is easy to get caught up in the crazy of this world. But in the crazy is where we need the Father more and more. God wants us to see that when we set our hearts on His goodness, there is no room for selfishness, anger, malice, or envy. It is a pure form of worship.
Ezra 3:11 says, "They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, "For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid." (NASB)
In the middle of building the temple, they realized that an amazing event occurred, and while the foundation was laid, they gave thanks. An event as simple as a foundation being laid, they gave thanks. Isn't that a beautiful thought? They knew what their Father in Heaven had done for them, and they all shouted together with praise and thanksgiving.
Sometimes I give God a shout of praise when a bill gets paid, when I finish a project on time, or when I get a door opened that has been closed for what seems years. Through my praise, I've learned to see God's hand in every situation as doors are opened to the gates of Heaven.
While it may seem simple to others, I know the prayers I've prayed, and I know the tears I've shed. So when God makes a way where there is no way, even in the little things, I will give thanks! I will worship Him, for His lovingkindness endures forever.
Psalm 100: 2-5 says:
"Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name."
I want to live my life in such a way that I can enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. In the good and the bad, because I know that My loving Father has provided Heaven for my loved ones and me. Like the songs says, I want to say this is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice for He has made me glad.
Looking at any situation with gladness puts God's hands in it. You will begin to understand James 1:2 that reminds us to count it all joy when facing being persecuted to the point of death.
When we learn to declare through all things that Yahweh is in control, we learn to put our trust in Him and not what's going on around us. Each time I declare this, I am telling God that He is Lord. I promise that it will change your perspective in every situation. And no matter what is going on, in good times and bad, GIVE THANKS!
Angela Lawley Founder of Giving Hope Ministries. Host of Giving Hope Podcast -Teacher women’s Bible Study. Angela is a 2007 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center, where she graduated with a certificate in Helps Ministry. Angela and her husband Ryan have been married for 20yrs. They own their own business in their home town of Canton, Tx. Angela is the mother of two amazing boys Nicholas and Aiden. Three years ago Angela decided to start a home ministry where women from all backgrounds could come and hear the Word of God. Her heart was to teach and equipped women to fight for their marriages, children and their God given place in this world! There in her living room Giving Hope Ministries was born and is growing day by day. You can join her live every Sunday evening on the Giving Hope Ministries Facebook page. Connect with Angela further by clicking here!