COACHING PASTORS IN THE ART OF THANKSGIVING
If you watch any amount of commercial TV, you may have noticed more than half of the ads are produced by pharmaceutical companies trying to sell the latest pill to treat the latest ill. I am sure that if I had the particular illness or dysfunction that they were addressing, I would be overjoyed about the new remedy but when I hear the endless potential side effects which often sounds worse than the disease, I can’t help wondering if it’s worth it.
I feel the same way sometimes when I look at all the new spiritual remedies being offered on Christian social media. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of solutions that are being prescribed for the ailing believer. Yet when I look at Scripture, I see one miracle drug that is offered again and again no matter what the problem is: Thanksgiving!
“Give thanks in all things for this is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus.“ 1 Th. 5:18
One of the biggest illnesses that troubles the believer today, is the uncertainty of knowing God’s will or feeling that somehow he has fallen out of Gods will. Thanksgiving is the perfect remedy. As soon as you take your eyes off your situation and begin to declare your thanks for all the amazing things that God has done and is doing in your life, you suddenly find yourself back in the will of God with the restored hope to hear the next step.
“Be anxious for nothing but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God and the peace of God will guard your heart and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7
So many leaders are struggling with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress and many have resorted to prescription medication to treat this problem. I have no problem with using medication when it is needed but in many cases, the simple biblical solution was never fully implemented.
Did you realize that the smiley or emoji for thanks (the two hands together) is used by most of us as the emoji for prayer?
Diane and were I recently privileged to go through an extensive healing process with Chester and Betsy Kylstra, the founders of Restoring the Foundations Ministries (RTF). One of the things I realized during this time is how limited I am in my ability to process my pain and the importance of attitude. God gave us a medication called thanksgiving to reset our perspectives on life, and realign us with Himself.
Life can be hard and leadership can be hazardous to your health. The pressures and stresses of life can leave us feeling alone, disconnected and despondent. It may sound trite, but it’s true…the solution is often as simple as reconnecting with God in a deep and personal way. But how do we do it when we feel so bad?
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name. Ps. 100:4-5
Write down ten things that you are thankful about and begin to declare them before the Lord. It takes a little effort but if you can disconnect your mind from the problems you are facing, and begin to turn your heart to Jesus with thanksgiving, you will be surprised by how your attitude shifts. We still need to do our part: repent, forgive, change habits, pray, get counsel, make hard choices and so on… but a changed attitude will change what happens and how you experience things. Paul experienced many challenges but he said he had learned how to be content, regardless of the circumstances. That’s a victorious attitude!
This Thanksgiving, don’t let your problems rob you of the joy you can be experiencing with Jesus, family and friends. Take a double thanksgiving pill and call me in the morning.