The Spirit of Thanksgiving is a Spirit of Gratitude
To have a spirit of thanksgiving is to keep ever before us a sense of appreciation and gratefulness for the lives we were given and the things we are experiencing, which displays the love of God to a dark world. The lives we have and the things we suffer may seem hard and not what we wanted, or may seem to be an impossible life to live. It is our perspective that is off course because we allow our values and our philosophies of life to teach us to see our lives through our culture and how it relates to self. Thus we become self-centered and self-focused when in reality we should have a spirit of gratitude knowing God sits on the throne of our lives.
It is only when we see our lives through the lens of God that we can truly be grateful and rejoice with thanksgiving in everything. We must understand that we are an eternal spirit that came from God. We have a Divine purpose to let the light of God shine through us in every dark place in which we find ourselves. God has created us to be more than conquerors and to be victorious in every situation. If we focus only on the adversity, hardship and misfortune of the darkness, we will fail to let the light in us represent God in that situation. It is only in presence of opposition we can see the victor; it is in darkness that we can see a clear light. We experience God and bring Him pleasure when we are able to show and display a spirit of gratitude in dark places because we display a trust in God’s nature; His Faithfulness we can trust.
A newborn has no recollection of the life he had in his mother’s womb. Just as many of us live ignorant to the life and purpose the spirit of God has in us to destine us to live victorious over our circumstances for His glory. A child is fed, nourished and he develops a sense of self from his family and culture. We who are adopted into the family of God must be fed and develop our sense of Divine purpose through our Father Who is in us and speaks through us to a dark world.
Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus
We can rejoice in every situation and even hard circumstances when we let our response to these concerns be with a spirit of gratitude toward all men, even our adversary. This happens when we recognize Jesus as Lord of this situation and we may have to let go of our selfish wants so His light is seen through us, even in that sad and depressing situation. When our lives are about us being on top, getting what we want and keeping our pride, and when things do not go our way we become worried, concerned and even fearful. But if we can be grateful for the life we do have, and for the things we have already been given, our gratitude will turn our fear to thanksgiving. Our thanksgiving develops into trust and faith in God to do what He has done all the time, defend, provide and protect us.
If we know God is in this situation and He has orchestrated it for our good and His glory, we can walk through the process knowing we will be victorious. Many times it is in these difficult conditions that we stop and talk with God. We will pray, which is just a conversation with God, seeking His direction and plan regarding the state we are in. When we give God thanks for allowing us to represent Him in this hard situation, most times we will see the peace of God rest upon us. Our hearts and minds are protected from fear through our relationship with Jesus in gratitude and thankfulness. This is true faith.
Romans 2: 28-30 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
This is why we are to give thanks in every situation, because it shows the faith and trust we have in the God we serve. This is the faith that pleases God; it shows trust in Him even in spite of these obstacles we face. Faith will give thanks to God even in a dark place because it knows God is true to His word.
We need to understand the purpose for which we are called is to be changed into the image of Jesus. Jesus came to restore us back into the right relationship, likeness and the family of God. God is our loving Father Who is working all things together in us so we will know Him and we will demonstrate His love in these hard places. We were predestined by God to show His love. We can give thanks because we know we are here with a purpose, called for His good pleasure, justified by the blood of Jesus so God’s glory will be seen in the earth.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.