In the message “Praise Him Even More” we considered our command, as well as our need, to rejoice and praise in order to sustain Spiritual life. A heart that has not been transformed by the Spirit of God cannot truly praise, and a transformed heart that does not praise will surely cease to pump Spiritual life through the body.
Silas had joined Paul on his second missionary journey. Early in the journey, the two men were seized and brought before the authorities; “These men are Jews and are throwing our city into an uproar” (Acts 16:20). For this act they were stripped, beaten, and thrown in prison with chains around their feet. However, their hearts continued to praise God and give Him thanks in spite of their conditions.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”
Giving thanks in the form of prayer, praise, song, celebration, or simply as an attitude of thankfulness is mentioned well over one thousand times in the Bible. It’s no surprise that having a heart filled with thanksgiving should be an integral part of the Christian walk. We need to see this world and the entirety of our life with new eyes – eyes that see God’s hand at work in every moment of every day.
If we believe in the One True God as the Creator of the Universe and accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, we should be compelled to give thanks…regardless of our circumstances. We should begin to see the evidence of God all around, and praise Him even for the air we breathe.
A heart without praise and thanksgiving is empty and does not yet understand a sovereign God or His plan. If our surroundings are continually dictating the thankfulness of our heart, perhaps we ought to ask God to reveal His loving plan in even greater clarity. Yes, God wants to see us live a life of true peace and contentment; but first and foremost, He desires for us to surrender our life to Him and bring Him glory and honor in ALL we do. Only then, and only with the power of His Spirit, will we be able to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Thankfulness does NOT depend on our particular situation!
We cannot produce thanksgiving by simply trying to be more thankful. We only become thankful by taking our heart back to the very origin of our new nature – back to the saving grace of Jesus. Let’s return to the point where our life was made new and once again learn to rejoice; once again learn to absolutely trust; once again learn to live with a true heart of thanksgiving.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Jul 20 2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17; Romans 6:1-23; Psalm 16:1-11; Proverbs 19:20-21