I would love to hear your experiences with giving thanks. Most of what I have read on the subject encourages the reader to say thank you. Most deals with thanking other people, and God, too. That isn’t bad. It really does make a difference. Saying thank you can change our attitude. Saying thank you can change the attitude of the person to whom we say it. It can heal relationships. It can affect our physical well-being, and that of others. It can make bad situations good. In the comment section below: Share your experiences with giving thanks to others. What challenges have been overcome, what relationships have been healed, what other benefits have you experienced by saying thank you?
Mostly, though, the focus of this blog is on the incredible power of giving thanks to God. Where I’m headed with this is to encourage a more extreme level of thankfulness. It is not something I learned overnight, heard taught in church, or read in any one book. In fact, I am still learning it. It is a life lesson. It came out of trying to make sense of life experiences in the context of what I learned in church, classrooms, seminars, and personal Bible study. It resulted when a lot of lessons, suddenly meshed together and began making sense as a coherent whole. A lot of what I post may not speak directly to giving thanks up front, but it will lay a foundation that will help the idea of “Extreme Thankfulness” make more sense to others as well.
“How to” books, or self-help books, are often just based on pop-psychology. If it doesn’t stand firm on a foundation of Biblical truth, it won’t last. It’s just the latest fad to put a bandage on broken lives. I believe the message of Extreme Thankfulness is a powerful, life-changing message founded in the faithfulness of God. It is the result of knowing Him, understanding His atoning work, and learning to rest in His absolute trustworthiness.
If “joy is a flag flown high from the castle of my heart” as the praise chorus says, thanksgiving is the flag pole. If the “joy of the Lord is my strength,” thanksgiving is the fitness program that results in abounding joy, and strength.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to “consider Jesus,” who is “faithful as a son over His house, whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.” Considering Jesus and His faithfulness enables us to give thanks. Giving thanks enables us to hold fast our confidence and hope. I believe faith and thanksgiving are inexorably bound. All I know of God is a basis for giving thanks to Him. I can trust Him, so I can thank Him. As I thank Him, I give expression to how much I trust Him.
So, I would especially like to hear your experiences with saying thank you to Him. What joyful experiences have become more joyful and meaningful as you thanked God for them? What Bible lessons have taken on new depth as a result of giving thanks to God? What crises have been averted through giving thanks to God? What crises have you walked through, that you would not have made it through, had it not been for faith? What crises have taught you life lessons as a result of trusting God enough to give thanks through the storm?