Written by: T.J. Pruitt
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
Yesterday’s devotional was about continuing in prayer, fasting and Bible study. Just as Paul stated to the Colossians, we should also be vigilant in it with thanksgiving. So as we continue, let’s take some time and reflect on the things that God has done for us and be thankful.
The act of thanksgiving is like the ripple effect when you throw a stone into a pond. It deepens our relationship with God by reminding us of His love, and all He has done for us. At the same time, this spirit of gratitude adjusts our vision of the present. Goliath fell, partially, because David was still grateful for God’s help in slaying the lion and the bear.
He mentioned it to Saul as a reason he knew he could face Goliath. His perspective positioned him in a launch position, like the shooting of an arrow. It not only gave David an appreciation for the God that he loved, it reminded him He is bigger than anything we’re facing.
The psalmist, famous for his songs of thanksgiving, had spent time being thankful in both the presence of God and the sheep. Yesterday’s verse spoke of being thankful in prayer, or talking to God. Today’s verse is about being thankful when speaking to others. Thanksgiving starts by being in His presence, wondering at His love, and His greatness. When we grasp it, we step into the lives of those around us and reflect it.
It’s the joy of knowing we are not just floating in a sea of chance. There is a purpose to our course, it’s been designed, not only to affect us, but those around us. The two examples, throwing a stone, or shooting an arrow, are actually two of the meanings of the Hebrew word for thanksgiving.
God crafted it to bring us closer to Him and to share our joy with others. It’s easy to tell people how wonderful God is when we are focused on how far He has brought us. Like any great gift, we desire to let everyone know.
So today, in the midst of all that you may be facing, step out of it for a few moments. Step into the quiet place, that place of thanksgiving. For a minute, focus on Him.
Reflect on the reason for His giant, His storm on Calvary. You and I were the why behind the scars, the whipping, the mocking, and the dying. It could easily have felt like chaos to Him, but He knew the purpose.
He was thankful enough for the results of His suffering, to endure it all. Because that He did, countless soul’s were given life. Is there a better reason to be thankful, to view our problems differently, and to know that through our course, we can affect others? He didn’t think so.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.