Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart!

Patricia King:

"Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart"

Patricia KingHe Invades the Darkness In a prior meeting in Houston, Steve Mitchell began singing a song he had written called, You Were There. The lyrics expressed thanksgiving to God for being there in the difficult, lonely, dark, and confusing times of our lives. Tears came to my eyes during that worship service as I recalled the many times I experienced the precious comfort and encouragement of His presence.

I reflected on the times when it felt like no one was there to stand and support, when confusion caused my thoughts and emotions to swirl, and when everything in my heart hurt. We have all had those seasons in life. Some describe this type of experience as the dark night of the soul.

In continued reflection, I vividly recalled the moments when in the midst of those dark and painful hours, the glorious presence of His tangible love would suddenly invade the darkness, flooding me with sweet peace and granting me courage to continue. The moment He manifested His presence, the battle settled. No matter how devastating the circumstances were, they were seemingly insignificant in the light of His abiding presence.

The only appropriate response to such divine intervention in the midst of our dark hours is thankfulness. Even the memory of such moments releases once again the gratefulness I feel for all He is, and for all He does. Our God is so amazing and His eye is ever upon us. I want to praise Him all the days of my life, no matter what state I am in.

I want to praise and thank Him when I am soaring on the mountain tops, but I want to also passionately and extravagantly praise and thank Him when I am walking through my darkest hour. Why? Because He is good! He is always good! The Lord is good and His loving kindness endures forever. He is forever worthy of our praise!

Gratefulness to Him

The Lord is touched deeply by the expression of our gratefulness to Him. Gratefulness carries a sweet savor and ministers the fragrance of thanksgiving, love, and kindness. Oftentimes, individuals who have been blessed by our ministry will approach me in a meeting or write me an email or letter sharing how thankful they were for what they received through our ministry. Sometimes they will give a little token of their appreciation through a special card or a little gift.

There is never a time when I am not deeply touched and humbled through their sweet expressions of gratitude. Often I am touched to tears. I love serving the Body of Christ and I don't personally expect to be thanked or honored in any way. I love serving and blessing God's children and I adore the privilege of pouring myself out for them, but when an individual graciously expresses their thanksgiving, it both disarms me and empowers me. It always carries a heavenly fragrance.

In John 12, Mary of Bethany poured out an offering of thanks on the feet of Jesus. She had sat at His feet often as she received from His presence and teaching. Now, she was pouring out the perfume of her grateful heart. Many believe that the expensive oil she poured out upon Him was in fact her dowry. In gratefulness for all He was to her, she poured out her future upon Him. Without a dowry, she would have no hope for a husband.

The fragrance of this act of love filled the room and it filled Jesus. Some say that on the Cross the fragrance of this oil was still experienced in the atmosphere. Others say that it even flooded the tomb where He was buried. The fragrance of a grateful heart does indeed bring Heaven to Earth and the Lord loves it.

Seven Points to Meditate On

The following are seven points to meditate on regarding the grateful heart:

1. The grateful heart is a sign of a humble heart.

In order to exercise gratefulness, you need to move your eyes off yourself and esteem God and others higher than yourself. Gratefulness and humility go together.

2. The grateful heart is evidence of a worshipping heart.

When you express your gratefulness to the Lord, it is evidence of a heart full of adoration and thankfulness to Him. This adoration releases worship.

3. The grateful heart ministers blessing and encouragement to the Lord and others.

Gratefulness warms the heart of those who receive it. It ministers encouragement.

4. The grateful heart often opens the Heavens over us so that blessings are poured out.

Whatever you sow, you will reap. If you sow the blessing of gratefulness into the Heavens, the Heavens will pour out blessings upon you. On the other hand, if you murmur and complain, the Heavens can be brassed over and you will be hindered from living under the blessings of Heaven above.

5. The grateful heart will often give victory in warfare.

We know that thanksgiving and praise will oftentimes release the victory of the Lord in the midst of battle. This was the case with Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20 when he called the nation to praise the Lord while enemies, much stronger than themselves, hemmed them in on every side. Their praise changed the atmosphere. They were delivered from being victims to victors.

6. The grateful heart releases and sustains divine provision and miracles.

Before the miracle of the loaves and the fishes took place in Mark 8, Jesus gave thanks. There was more than enough for the 4,000 people there that day. When ten lepers were cleansed in Luke 17:11-19, only one returned with a grateful heart. This was the one who was not only cleansed, but made whole.

7. The grateful heart ushers in the glory.

I have discovered that when I release my thanksgiving and gratefulness to the Lord, His tangible presence falls. This is what happened in 2 Chronicles 5:11-14 at the dedication of the temple. When they celebrated His goodness and mercy with thankful hearts, the glory cloud filled the house of God.

Let's commit to living before God with a grateful heart. We have so much to be thankful for and He is forever worthy of our sincere praise.

Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks to the Holy One, Forever!

Patricia King

Extreme Prophetic Ministries


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