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Unlocking God’s Presence with Thanksgiving

‘Imagine you woke up this morning with only the things you thanked God for yesterday.’ Author unknown.

Yes, read it again. That’s what I had to do. ‘Imagine you woke up this morning with only the things you thanked God for yesterday.’ 

When I read those words, it bolted me straight up in the chair where I spend my time with God. 

Can you take a moment to reflect on it. Just let it simmer and sink in for a bit.

What did you thank God for yesterday? 

Did you thank Him yesterday? Or did the day fly by without a spare moment for reflection.

If you said thank you yesterday...what would you have in your life today?

  • Your car - because it didn't break down when you thought it would?
  • That you were protected from that near accident?
  • For nature? How beautiful the trees are at this time of year!
  • How about your family or friends?
  • Your health?
  • That God provided for you?
  • Your job - yes, the one you complain about - but you actually had a good day yesterday!
  • The fact that God loves you and that His Son died for you?

The world loves to teach us to be grateful - because it opens you up to receive more… things. 

But the Word says in Psalm 100:4 - that we enter the very Gates of God with Thanksgiving… 

Giving thanks is about more than just receiving things… it’s HOW we have the privilege to enter into God’s very presence.

Isn’t that where we want to be? To live? To Abide? In His Presence?

What will you find in His presence?

Psalm 16:11 says: You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (ESV)

Can you imagine living a life full of Joy - because you’re in God’s presence - all because you gave Him thanks?

And this giving of thanks isn't just a mumble - like our kids love to do when we've reminded them to say the magic word...and they roll their eyes as they almost sing the words..."Thanks mom!"

It's cultivating, nurturing and building on having a grateful or thankful mindset and heart attitude. Its what we try to instil in our children.

Our world is such a dark place at times. There are wars, rumours of wars, natural disasters, mental health issues, murders, friends and family turning on each other, limiting beliefs, loss of identity, despair triggered by this culture of comparison on social media and so much lost time. 

And all we need to do, to life a life of joy is enter His presence which we do by simply starting to give thanks. 

It may start out with simple - thank you for my house, for food, for heating, for my car....but it will soon become, thank you for my family, my friends, my calling, for the very breath that I take every day, for being the breath that I take each day, for your anointing that removes burdens and destroys yokes, for the heavy weight of your presence in my life...for guiding and leading my children, for giving me wisdom, understanding, insight, for being my discernment...

What might start awkwardly as you think of what to be grateful for, will soon snowball into a time of fellowship with Holy Spirit, that will take you to new depths of God's tremendous love for you.

What does thankfulness have to do with the will of God for your life? Just about everything!

Lord - what do you want me to do? Why am I here on this earth? 

Let’s turn to the Word again. That is after all where all your answers to life's questions can be found. Isn’t God so faithful? His divine power has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness! (2 Peter 1:3)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: Rejoice always, pray continually,  *give thanks in all circumstances*; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Giving thanks not only takes you straight into the presence of God, but it’s also where the will for your life is found. God's will for your life, is to live a life of thankfulness - gratefulness!

And, did you see that it does not say - give thanks FOR all circumstances - but says: IN ALL circumstances!

That just about covers every situation you may ever encounter.

It doesn’t matter what you’re facing right now. You may be in the middle of a thick, yucky, sticky situation… Give thanks! You may be in the centre of a dispute with your best friend, or mother! Give thanks that He is God and you are not! 

Thankfully (Yes, again), the Word also says that His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23) - so if you didn’t thank him yesterday and haven't yet today, remember that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) 

So, if you have not yet started a habit of saying thank you - start today - in fact start right now! Say thank you to God and see how that list expands with all God has blessed you with. As you continue cultivating that attitude of gratefulness and add to the list daily, you'll see His presence and His joy expand in your life. 

I’d love to hear how this has impacted you. Please leave a comment below.