Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20 NCV).
Friend to Friend
When we lived in South Florida, the grass in our yard grew year-round. So did the weeds. We soon learned that the best way to deal with weeds was simply to take really good care of the grass. When the grass was healthy, it was thick and lush – leaving little room for weeds to grow.
When our hearts and lives are filled with praise, worry is a weed that will die from lack of attention. When we choose to continually give God thanks, there will be little room in our hearts for fear.
Because praise acknowledges the very character of God, while thanksgiving recognizes the work of His hand. Together, praise and thanksgiving are powerful weapons against worry and formidable tools to strengthen our faith.
I know what you are thinking. Sometimes it is just plain hard to praise God because of the grueling circumstances we are facing. Remember the words of Paul:
“Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20 NCV).
The problem is that we don’t understand the true meaning of praise.
Praise comes from a Latin word that means “value” or “worth.” To praise God means to celebrate His worth, His value and His presence. “Sing to God, sing in praise of His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds—His name is the Lord—and rejoice before Him” (Psalm 68:4 NIV).
Praise and thanksgiving please God. Psalm 147:1 says, “How good it is to sing praise to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!” (NIV).
Praise and thanksgiving encourage obedience. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Did you catch the truth that it is His will for us to praise Him? Obedience to Him always promotes peace and eliminates worry.
Praise and thanksgiving enhance our awareness of His presence. Psalm 22:3 tells us, “Yet you are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel” (NLT). When we praise God, we enthrone Him in our lives. We make that fearful circumstance His dwelling place. That’s right! We invite Jesus to join us in our mess. And do you know that He always accepts that invitation of praise?
Thanksgiving is a deposit on the future.
Praise is trusting Him for what He will do and then expecting Him to do it, understanding that today’s stumbling blocks are tomorrow’s stepping-stones.
Praise frees God to work because when we praise Him, we are choosing to trust Him, despite the circumstances.
The story is told of a young man who was sitting on a park bench reading his Bible. Suddenly he began to shout. “Praise the Lord! What a miracle!” An older, very distinguished man walking by stopped and asked what he was so excited about. The young man replied, “I was just reading how God parted the Red Sea and the whole nation of Israel walked across on dry ground.” The older man sneered, “Don’t you know? That wasn’t a real sea at all. It was just a few inches of water.” He then turned in irritation and walked away, leaving the young man confused and discouraged. But in a few minutes the young man began to shout again. The unbeliever returned asking, “What are you shouting about now?” “I just read how God drowned the whole Egyptian army in just a few inches of water!”
Don’t let anyone keep you from praising God.
Don’t let any circumstance deny you the joy of giving thanks.
Praise is not optional in a life that wins over worry and doubt. Praise is a demonstration of trust and the acceptance of a circumstance without insisting that God change it. When we choose to praise God, we choose to trust Him. And when we choose to trust God, we will win over worry.
Father, I am desperate for You. Everything seems to be falling apart. I want to be a woman of faith and who stands strong when trouble bombards my life, but I can’t do it alone. Today, I turn to You and celebrate the truth that You will turn to me and be my refuge.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you ever praised God when you really didn’t feel like it? If so, how did that change your attitude?
Name 3 things, other than Jesus and your family, that you are thankful for today.
More from the Girlfriends
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Three things I’m thankful for other than Jesus and my family. My health, my home (you see my husband served 30+ years in the Army, then 20 years as a DOD civilian.) We moved from military housing one one Fort to military housing on the next and rented homes overseas several times. The third thing I’m thankful for are the military friends/family God has blessed us with along the way.
This morning I am thankful for my life I could have been dead but I’m in the land of the living.
I’m thankful for the freedom to praise and worship God in freedom anywhere, anytime and anyway.
I’m thankful that no matter what I never lost my praise🙌🏾🙌🏾👏🏽👏🏽
His forgiveness, his grace and his beautiful creation!
I am thankful for a job that came open close to where my son lives, thankful we are free to praise God anywhere at anytime and thankful for my Christian circle of friends.
Blessings to all.
I’m thankful for GOD’s patience and mercy… The beautiful earth GOD created for us. And of course Jesus Christ dying for me to be able to spend eternity in Heaven!!!
I’m so thankful for GIF team. The messages always seem to meet me in whatever circumstance I am experiencing. I’m thankful for Knott Avenue Christian Church, my home church for more than 25 yrs. Where my children grew up, where their father’s celebration of life took place, where my church family is always ready to serve. 3rd but not last I’m thankful for my job of 30+yrs, provided me with a career to raise my children as a single parent, where I’m able to retire with a pension, I’m hoping too retire soon. I’m praying for God’s direction for the next steps of my life. Blessings to you and yours my heart overflows this morning. In the precious name of Jesus.,,Debbie
I am thankful for you Mary! I am consistently ministered by your devotions and have been led back twice to the GIG site by the Holy Spirit over the past week on the days you have provided the daily submission. No coincidence! I am in the exact same boat as Debbie in that I am getting ready to retire from a 30+ year as a federal public servant and grateful for an opportunity to serve, with my most recent role assisting Canadian Veterans who are so deserving. I am thankful for the wonderful supports that God has put in my place at the right time and place to minister to me and provide me with strength in order to support those who are hurting. Though there have been times, particularly in the past few weeks, where the weight of others challenges has been heavy, I really do appreciate this as an opportunity to grow in my own faith. Okay, so that’s 4…I am not known for taking direction well…lol
Sherry! I am praising God with you!
Me, too, Cathy! God is so good!
Sheila, so thankful for your job! What an answer to prayer!
Chrissi, I am so thankful for God’s forgiveness, too. Sometimes I think we take it for granted. Thank you for the reminder.
Debbie, thank you for the encouraging words about GIG. God is so good! And how exciting to have the next chapter of life in front of you.
Monica, thank you for your encouraging words, friend. I love the opportunity to minister to women and am always amazed that God uses my words. Really His words! Ministering to others can become too heavy at times. Get some rest! Blessings!
What an on time devotional! I’m grateful for my salvation, God healing me from cervical cancer. Lastly, everyone who prayed me through this valley known and unknown. I know God heard my pleas as well as theirs!!♥️☝🏽
I am thankful for God’s peace. I am thankful that my family and I have a roof over our heads. I am thankful that we finally own our home.