THANKSGIVING is a mystery that has been in practice from the Old Testament till now.
God set up a system for the Israelites to show their thankfulness through a specific thanksgiving sacrifice called “a Peace Offering” (Leviticus 7:11-15).
Individuals, institutions, nations and the body of Christ have engaged this mystery and have seen God’s divine interventions in various realms and fields of endeavour.
Particularly in the United States, thanksgiving is historically a day to praise and thank God the Father, for His blessings and to ask Him to heal the wounds of the nation. It is also a National Day of Penitence for them to humbly repent from their sinfulness and disobedience.
Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863 during the American Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln declared it a Thanksgiving Day.
Having a spirit of contentment and gratitude is a powerful tool to possess because it can affect every aspect of our lives and remind us of God’s sovereignty and magnanimity.
Thanksgiving is a platform where divine ideas and strategies are released for the maximisation of your purpose. You cannot be handicapped or stranded in life when you engage this mystery.
Jesus engaged it in the wilderness and fed five thousand men excluding women and children, with twelve baskets left over from a young boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fishes (Matthew 14:14 – 20). It’s the secret for the multiplication of your resources and the work of your hands. Dryness and emptiness are not permitted around you when you deploy this mystery.
Thanksgiving is a tool or weapon for global evangelism in this end-time. It is also the attestation of His Almightiness, declaration, publication of His wonders and marvellous deeds among the heathen so that the earth will tremble and fear Him and come to the knowledge of the true God.
The Bible said that He does fearful things in righteousness so that the ends of the earth might fear Him (Psalm 75:1; 105:1; 1Chronicles 16:35; 2Samuel 22:50).
“It’s the bankruptcy of thanksgiving and wrong mentality that makes people want to commit suicide. Every day you wake up, you should have a reason to thank God. Where you are currently, is not the worst place and it’s not your end. The Psalmist said “I laid me down and slept: I awaked; for the Lord sustained me”
Recently, I experienced one of His marvellous acts upon my life when I got involved in an accident on the 30th of September, 2021.
I was sandwiched between two vehicles when a bus ran into me from behind with top speed, and with that impact, I hit the car in front of me. At this point, the airbag of my car burst, the two engine sittings were broken, the back bumper was written off and so many other damages. But I came out unhurt to the glory of God.
I return unto Him thanksgiving for these mighty deeds in my life and ministry.
What is Thanksgiving?
- Thanksgiving is an art of worship and honour unto God (Psalm 95:1-6).
- Thanksgiving is a declaration, publication of His Almightiness and holiness, attestation of His marvellous deeds in our lives and faithfulness, so that the heathen will fear Him (Psalm 75:1; 105:1; 1Chronicles 16:35; 1Samuel 22:50).
- Thanksgiving is an art of appreciation and gratitude to God for His benevolence, kindness and multitude of His mercies demonstrated towards us.
- Thanksgiving is responding to God’s goodness, grace and acknowledgment of benefits of favours especially to God with appreciation.
- Thanksgiving is an art of sacrifice (Levitisus 7:11-15).
Seven Effective Ways to Thank God
- Recognise His hand:
To give thanks unto God, we must recognise His hand in our lives. Recognising His hand is a clue that whatever you have achieved, accomplished in life is not by your effort, connections and certificates. The Bible says: “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9:16; Psalm 124:1-8). This means that, you owe it all to Him.
- Give thanks in prayer:
One way of showing our thanksgiving and appreciation to God is through prayers. “O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name: make known His deeds among the people” (Psalm 105:1).
- Keep a gratitude journal:
An excellent way to show thanksgiving to God is by keeping a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is more than just a list of your blessings, but a way to record what God has done for you on a daily basis.
- Serve others:
One of the most profound ways in which we can truly give thanks to God is through serving Him by serving others. He said, “In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
- Express gratitude to others:
When others help or serve us, they in turn are serving God. In a way, when we express our gratitude to those who serve us, we are truly showing thanksgiving to God. We can easily acknowledge the services of others by saying thank you and sending a card or an email to express our appreciation to them.
- Have an attitude of gratitude:
When we choose to have a positive attitude and to live our lives in joy, we are showing our thanksgiving to God. We are showing to Him that we are grateful for our very life which He has given to us. Ingratitude is a spirit. Don’t embrace it. (Malachi 2:2; Proverbs 17: 22).
- Choose to be humble:
Humility begets gratitude, while pride begets ingratitude. In the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus Christ taught what happens to those who are lifted up in pride and those who are humble. He said “For everyone that exhalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
In the face of adversity, we must make a choice. We can either react to our afflictions by becoming humble and thankful, or we can become angry and bitter.
As we chose to be humble, we are showing to Him that we have faith in Him, that we trust Him. We may not know God’s plan for us, but as we humble ourselves, especially in adversity, we are submitting ourselves to His Will.
Benefits of Thanksgiving:
- Thanksgiving gets our focus off ourselves:
We need to know that life is not all about us, because we are prone to selfishness. God desires our eyes to be set firmly on Him, because that is where our true hope and victory is found.
Thanksgiving helps us to redirect every achievement and accomplishment back to Him. “And my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all day long” (Psalm 35:28). “Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness” (Psalm 150:2).
- Thanksgiving is a tool or weapon for global evangelism:
The Almightiness, holiness and marvellous deeds are declared publicly to the heathen through thanksgiving so that the whole earth shall tremble and fear Him and come to the knowledge of the true God (Psalm 75:1; 105:1; 1Chronicles 16:35; 1Samuel 22:50).
- Divine ideas and strategies are released in the place of thanksgiving:
If you want your potentials released, engage this mystery. It’s the place where divine secrets, ideas are released for the maximization of your purpose. You cannot be stranded in life when you deploy this mystery. Jesus engaged this mystery in the wilderness and the lunch of a young boy with five loaves and two fishes fed Five Thousand men, excluding women and children. At the end of it all, they had a leftover of Twelve baskets of food. (Matthew 14:14-20). This is the secret for the multiplication of your resources and the work of your hands. Dryness and emptiness are not permitted around you when you arm yourself with thanksgiving.
- Thanksgiving is the key to opening the flood gates of heaven:
A man who knows how to give thanks will secure himself perpetual open heavens. Thanksgiving is the gateway to the supernatural and the blessings of God upon our lives, destiny, church and the nation. He will not withhold nor hoard His goodness and mercies from us if we engage this mystery.
- Thanksgiving is the birth place for the miraculous, healing, deliverance, salvation and revival:
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s band were loosed” (Acts 16:25-26).
People’s lives are changed and transformed when the instrument of thanksgiving is deployed. God can shake things up when we offer Him thanks. As Paul and Silas sat in prison, shackled and chained, they kept thanking God and He came through for them. An earthquake shook the prison, broke the chain and their freedom was established.
As a result of the above manifestation, salvation took place for the jailer and his family by coming to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, to the glory of God.
- Thanksgiving is cure to depression and suicidal tendencies:
The Psalmist said “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. O’ my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore, will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar” (Psalm 42:5-6).
If you have reason to thank God, depression, depreciation, degeneration, oppression and suicidal tendencies are not permitted to hang around you. Thanksgiving is an antidepressants and secret of wholeness.
Suicide remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide, according to WHO’s latest estimates, published in “SUICIDE WORLDWIDE IN 2019”.
Every year, more people die as a result of suicide than HIV, Malaria, breast cancer, War or homicide. In 2019, more than 700,000 people died by suicide, one in every 100 deaths, prompting WHO to produce new guidance to help countries improve suicide prevention and care.
It’s the bankruptcy of thanksgiving and wrong mentality that makes people want to commit suicide. Every day you wake up, you should have a reason to thank God. Where you are currently, is not the worst place and it’s not your end. The Psalmist said “I laid me down and slept: I awaked; for the Lord sustained me” (Psalm 3:5).
If you are in this category and you are being haunted by the spirit of suicide (spirit of death), depression, oppression and any other psychosomatic disorders or mental disorders, I counsel you to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.
Kindly pray this prayer from your heart: Come into my life and make me a new person. Change my life and destiny today. I say “NO” to sin and I receive the grace to serve and live for you by faith. From today, I go forward and backward never. Thank you for answering me, in Jesus Name.
If you prayed this prayer, you can reach me on my email or telephone nos. for further counselling and prayers.
Pastor Onoja is of Global Impact Revival Assembly International, P. O. Box 16504 Zone 3, Wuse-Abuja, FCT, Nigeria. E-mail: [email protected]; Tel. Nos: +234(0)8055842594; +234(0)7034893375.