“Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father.”
Ephesians 5:20 TLB
This week here in the United States we are celebrating Thanksgiving.
The history of this annual tradition dates back to the original colonists—and was proclaimed a national holiday by the first president, George Washington.
Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday and for more than half a century it was not regularly celebrated.
In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November.
“Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
The Civil War came to an end eighteen months later.
Now more than ever we need to pause and offer “thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father” to turn the tides of oppression, injustice, and violence.
No matter what you’re battling, your recipe for victory is extravagant praise and thanksgiving.
It’s a matter of what you choose to glorify—whether you glorify the problem or the Solution.
Will you magnify the works of the enemy or the promises found in God’s Word?
Where will you choose to put your focus?
Too often we focus on the what chastises our peace rather than on the Prince of Peace.
We choose to focus on what we don’t have and who we are not, rather on that we do have and who we are in Christ.
We allow whatever is missing from our lives to command our attention rather than the goodness and grace of God always working on our behalf.
“We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him.”
Romans 8:28 NCV
Living a victorious life is a matter of managing your focus—specifically, focusing on the victory Giver: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory” (1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV).
The key to unlocking the abundance of God is thanking and praising the God of abundance.
Abundance is all around you in every moment, just as is your heavenly Father.
And if God is in everything—“by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17)—we know that where He is there is provision, freedom, joy, healing, and whatever you need.
“God…is over all and through all and in all.”
Ephesians 4:6 NIV
God wants to bless you with all goodness, grace, wisdom, authority, and abundance.
He wants to give you eyes to see and ears to hear His promise for you in every situation.
He wants you to overcome, to succeed, to prosper, to be victorious—to inherit every one of His promises.
He wants you to step into the blessed life because that is where you will live your best life.
God wants you to focus on Him and all that is possible in Christ.
When your circumstances are pulling on your attention, focus on God! Focus on what He is saying, what He has promised, and what He has done and will continue to do in your life.
The more attention you give to what you hope for rather than what you fear, the more your mind—and your energy—will be renewed.
You’re not going to be tired or depressed or overwhelmed. You will throw off the spirit of heaviness, indifference, and lethargy that leads to despair.
You will have energy to shake yourself awake and walk in God’s ever-present light.
“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:14 NLT
If you want more of God and His light in your life, focus your attention on Him by lifting up your head, heart, hands, and voice with praise and thanksgiving.
If you want more victory, peace, and joy, praise and thank God for more than you even understand is possible.
This is not only your instant-access pass to the throne room of Heaven, but also the key to unlocking the power residing within you.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
Ephesians 3:20 NKJV
Whatever you focus on grows. If you want more of God’s goodness growing in your life, focus on His goodness!
No matter where you are in the world this week, take time to offer thanksgiving and praise to our generous “beneficent” Father.
Give thanks for God’s abundance with abundant thanksgiving!