Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thanks-living: A Lifestyle of Thanksgiving and Praise

During the Colorado Fire crisis in June, Darnly of Steadfast Love and Faithfulness, a blog I follow, found many reasons to give thanks to God even while she was being evacuated from her home.

Last week, a friend of mine posted on his Facebook page that he was switching to thanks-living mode, I was intrigued with the word—Thanks-living. It was at a time when my heart was very heavy.

At times of adversity, when things are not going the way we desire them to, what do we do? Murmur, complain, grumble, and whine? The Israelites did so and God got angry with them. That generation did not enter into the promised land. Murmuring and complaining displeases God. Ingratitude brings pain to God's heart.

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child"
- Shakespeare's King Lear, 1605

When we complain and grumble about the things that are not going right, we fail to see what is already in the cup, we focus our attention on what is not in it—the cup is always half empty. We see what our spouse, our children, our friends and government are not doing right. We fail to see the good in any one or situation.

Quit complaining; start thanking.
- A Japanese saying.

What is thanks-living?

Thanks-living is praising God when the cup is overflowing and when it is half full or even empty.

It is the heart that says "Though the fig tree does not blossom….yet I will rejoice in the Lord…"

It is paying attention to what is in the cup and giving thanks to God for what we have already—to the thankful heart the cup is always half full.

How should Christians be thankful?

We bless God with our hearts, soul, tongue, hands, feet and instruments.

"Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name" - Ps 100:4b (AMP). Come before His presence with singing, with joyful songs and with a grateful heart.

We make thanks an offering which proceeds from a heart which is deeply affected by God's mercies and numberless favors, expressive of gratitude and praise, and accompanied by a lifestyle that is pleasing to God.

Can we express thanksgiving when…
          …life is gloomy
                   …our mind is pressured,
                   .         …our heart is burdened,
                                      …our nerves are rattled
                                                …and our emotion is frayed?

David called his soul, his heart and all that is within him to praise and bless the Lord. He went further to command his soul not to forget God's benefits (Ps 103: 1-2). It always seem so much easier to focus on all the negative things happening around us than on the benefits of God but he called upon his soul repeatedly to praise God, which suggests an earnest desire. It was an emphatic command. It is not only when it is convenient but also when it is most difficult that we must demonstrate a lifestyle of gratitude.

The dawn of a new day

We show ourselves mindful of God's benefit by being thankful. If we are mindful of the benefits which God daily bestow upon us, we will be full of thanksgiving and praise. Since He daily loads us with benefits, thanks-living can not be optional. Blessed be God Who daily loads us with benefits - Ps 68:19.

Imagine, for a moment, if we consciously catalogue the load of benefits God daily pours out on us even in the midst of our adversity and with grateful hearts, we offer praise and thanksgiving for each of them through each day, then we will of necessity develop a lifestyle of thanksgiving which is the essence of thanks-living.

Being thankful is a learned behavior. It is not automatic. We learn to maintain an attitude of gratitude even when faced with devastating events, because we know that God is good all the time and He works all things together for our good even when we don't understand how.

"Sometimes the good that God intends to bring through our suffering is intended for someone else." - (Williams Barnes on Thanksgiving vs. Thanks-living). Gratitude at such times requires us to maintain the proper perspective of God and our circumstances.

Knowing that God expects us to live a life of thanksgiving rather than offering limited thanks, and knowing that we must never lose sight of God's goodness, and God's hand at work in everything we face, our thanksgiving must be continual and not contingent.

Suffering provides us as Christians, the greatest opportunity to demonstrate the validity of Christianity. If we are grateful and joyful only when things are going right then how are we different from the world?

We become vulnerable to the devil when our praise turn sour and our thanksgiving disappear during our times of trials and challenges. He is waiting to hear us gripe and complain or to accuse God of being unfair, but if instead we offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving at such times, we resist him and he will flee from us.

A lifestyle of thanksgiving and praise opens the door to God's power, which opens the door to victory.

I will conclude with offering a sacrifice of praise in the next post and also share my catalogue of praise.

What does thanks-living mean to you? Have you considered making your catalogue of praise? If yes, do share in the comments box below and let us rejoice together.

Please to share with you We Will Remember by Tommy Walker


  1. Great truths about thanksliving. It is not an easy thing and just when we think we are doing better, we get lazy and forget. Loved your thoughts and thanks for your comments at my blog...I have learned being deliberate in my thanksgiving helps. Now my goal is to write them down all through the day. Maybe carry a little notebook and pen around my neck. (smile)

    1. Thanks for you comments, Darnly. I like the idea of writing down through the day the many blessings God bestows on us. It will be just a tip of the ice-berg because they are innumerable. What a loving Father we have. He deserves our unceasing praise.

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Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and comments. I appreciate you. God bless you.