Thanksgiving Therapy for Thanksliving

November 25, 2014

“In everything … with thanksgiving tell God every detail of your needs … And the peace of God which transcends human understanding will stand guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.”   (Philippians 4:6, 7)

As I have tried to apply what Paul prescribes in these verses (in the NIV and J.B. Phillips), I have found this prescription for peace to be more helpful than any other spiritual discipline. According to Paul, an attitude of gratitude leads to the therapy of thanksgiving as we apply thanksgiving to our stressful circumstances.

Be sure to make the observation that Paul does not prescribe giving thanks for all things. He instructs us to give thanks in all things. When we do this it automatically moves our mindset from the negative to the positive. The apostle promises that the peace of God will protect and stand guard (like the soldiers chained to Paul as he writes these words), over our hearts and minds as they rest and trust in Christ Jesus.

Our circumstances are not always determined by God but may be caused by evil people who are persecuting us. We cannot always control our circumstances – but we can control the way we respond to them. Paul is telling us to respond with thanksgiving, because if we do, we will find this response to be God’s prescription that will bring peace that can contribute to our victory over those circumstances.

When a pastor asked one of his members how they were doing, their response was “Pretty good pastor, under the circumstances.” The pastor responded “Whatever are you doing under there?”

The therapy of thanksgiving can lead us out from under our circumstances and into the peace of God.

Dick Woodward, 02 September 2009

The Gates of Thanksgiving

February 22, 2012

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him…”      (Psalm 100: 4)

Psalm 100 is the definitive worship psalm.  This psalm tells us what worship is, what we should experience when we worship, how to worship, what we know, what should happen to us and what the results should be because we worshipped.

According to David worship is to come before God’s presence, and coming before the presence of God is like having an audience with a King.  Our approach to the presence of God begins at the gates of thanksgiving.  This means that in a corporate worship service, or in our private closet worship, we are to begin our approach to the presence of God by passing through the gates of thanksgiving.

As I attempt to maintain my spiritual equilibrium as a bed fast quadriplegic I get more spiritual mileage out of the therapy of thanksgiving than I do anything else.  David has pointed me to the truth that when I begin thanking God I soon find myself in the courts of praise and coming into the presence of God with singing.  In the presence of God I know that He is God, I am His sheep and I live in His pasture.  Then I’m told again that I should keep on thanking Him.

As a result of this worship experience I am to know that God wants people in every land of this earth to know what it is to make joyful noises of worship in His presence.  He also wants it to be known that His truth endures in all generations not only in past generations.

To that end He wants me to serve Him with gladness because I came into His presence with thanksgiving.