Sunday, November 29, 2009

Faith and the Thanksgiving Connection

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
     --Psalm 100:4

Since it's Thanksgiving weekend, I thought:  "What more appropriate time than this to talk about the importance of praise and thanksgiving in connection with faith?"

The word thanksgiving shows up in scripture a mere 29 times, and the word praise is used 259 times -- obviously, a pretty important word in the whole Christian/religious world. 

So, why is praise so important?  I could make this a really, really short post but cutting to the chase and not adding any frills, but instead I'll cut to the chase AND add some frills while I'm at it.

Think about it. We are told that whatever we ask -- believing we have received -- we shall have. 

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
     --Mark 11:24 

So, let's say you haven't been feeling well. You have just spent time in prayer over your health. Someone asks you how you feel and you say, "Not too good. I've been nursing this cold" or whatever. So, did you believe that you received what you desired when you prayed?

Apparently not.

Right off the bat, when you finished praying, how did you feel? I'm not talking physically here, but emotionally. How did you feel?

OK, let's try another approach. You come to me because you are having some money problems. You ask me for a million dollars. I say, "no problem" and hand you a million bucks. How do you feel? How do you react?

I'd be willing to bet (if I was a betting woman) that you'd jump up and down, squeal with delight, and thank me. Am I right?

Why would you react that way? Because you just got a million bucks!  Come on, this isn't rocket science. 

So, how do you feel and how do you react when you are finished praying? Are you jumping up and down for joy and thanking the Father for hearing your prayer and giving you your desires?

No?  Then apparently you didn't "believe that ye receive them" when you prayed.  This is a pre-requisite to receiving, folks. 

You need to ask yourself one question: "Do I trust in God?" Our money says we do. (In God we Trust is printed on it -- at least until the atheists and separation of church and state folks have their way...)

You see, I firmly believe that we spend far too much time in prayer asking God for things he has already given us instead of thanking him for the provisions made approximately 2,000 years ago on the cross. 

In short, you either believe the Word of God (aka the Bible) is true, or you don't. If you believe it, it will work for you. If you don't then stop wasting your time.  (This is a very loose translation of a Kenneth Copeland quote.)

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