Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine
Last summer I endured an emotionally-draining trial. It was one of the hardest times of my life, and one that tested my faith like never before. There were days when I was so overcome with grief, that it affected me physically. The grips of the enemy dug deep into my soul, and spun me around like a lifeless, mindless puppet. For a time, I found myself at the mercy of my emotions, which were wrapped in sorrow, blame, anger, regret, shame, and helplessness. Then I remembered a powerful truth. It was a truth that I had, somehow, allowed to dim in my heart, but one that would buoy me to the breakthrough and beginning of new things I so desperately wanted.
The truth I remembered was that not only was I already equipped for the battle I was engaged in, but even more important, that my triumph in it had already been perfectly scripted. My victory was guaranteed, and that reality could not be undone—I only had to believe it, receive it, and live it. Our God would never allow us to encounter an attack that we cannot withstand; we were wired for victory. That is the essence of II Corinthians 2:14. We really are overcomes, more than conquerors through Jesus.
How could I ever forget that? How could I ever fathom that my Daddy God would leave me stranded on the battlefield without weapons, or support or a strategy? That is just what the enemy wanted me to think and believe and live. But I got a revelation, and I was not having it! Enough of satan and his tomfoolery. Once I got serious about walking out the victory that was already assured to me, I started overcoming in a way, and with a confidence like I never had. This is how I did it:
I gave God thanks. I praised God. I worshipped God. I repeated. This was my sure-fire 3-step battle plan that brought me through, out, and over.Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the… Click To Tweet
The first part of this strategy — thanksgiving– is quite powerful. Not only does our soul-deep thanksgiving bless God, it blesses us, and, as a consequence, it really annoys the enemy, too. Even greater, right? And we are commanded to give the Lord thanks. Check out Psalm 100 (The Message):
On your feet now—applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.
3 Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn’t make him.
We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
4 Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
And here is the King James version:
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
And then there is 1 Chronicles 16:34: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
God’s love endures FOREVER. FOR. EV.ER. Think about that. A love that never fades or lessens. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that. What more reason do you need to lift your hands and heart in thanksgiving to the great I AM?
Why Give Thanks in the Midst of Trouble or Heartache or Confusion or Betrayal or Sorrow?
Thanksgiving lightens and strengthens our spirits.
Thanksgiving puts the enemy on notice that we are not shrinking down.
Thanksgiving ushers in the light and presence of God, and darkness cannot stand where there is light.
And most important, thanksgiving takes our focus off our circumstances, and all that is askew in our lives, and instead puts our focus on God—which is where it should be anyway.
Simply, God deserves ALL of our thanksgiving. Every bit of it. He does not withhold any good thing from us, and we should never sit on our thanksgiving. After all, Jesus laid down His life for us, suffered a cruel and horrible death all so we–you and me–could have a real life, and an abundant one at that. He gave us the ultimate gift; we should never run out of reasons to give Him thanks because the first gift He gave us sufficiently supersedes all else He’s done for us.
When I am at my lowest, and struggling with fear, or doubt or rejection, I know I still have a reason to give thanks. And then there is this:
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.” Psalm 28:7
What are you waiting for? Go ahead, Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name (Psalm 100:4). We are just getting started with this 3-step battle plan. There is much, much more to share. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series!