Week Two – you have all week to study, meditate, respond, and pray about this topic
Who feels like thanking God in the middle of a crisis? It was the last thing I wanted to do the night I fell carrying our newborn son to the car. As much as I tried to shield him, he hit the pavement with me. Stunned by the impact, his eyes failed to respond to light as he was examined at the neighborhood clinic. They called for a neurosurgeon. I remember following the ambulance down 10th Street to Methodist Hospital. Fear. Panic. Despair. My emotions overcame me. Until I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit. Go back to what you remember. Praise the Only One who can turn this for good. I sure didn’t want to thank God. But the promises I had known for years were there for me at that moment. So I made myself thank Him for His goodness. I didn’t feel like it but I made the choice to voice my praise out loud. I sounded like a crazy woman screaming truth out of my mouth while sobbing in fear. I was in a spiritual battle! And my weapons of warfare were praise and thanksgiving. And after a long night of waiting and prayer, we got our miracle. All reports came back normal. Our baby was perfect!
Psalm 92 has taught us that being thankful is beneficial to US. It sure helped me through that crisis many years ago. As so many of you are compiling your own blessing lists through this study, you encourage yourself as well as others. And remembering gives you an arsenal for the future. I know for sure that being thankful gave me the grace to endure that horrible nightmare many years ago.
Why do we call praying before a meal, “grace?” It’s part of the original Greek definition for the word, “thanks.” It’s interesting to connect thanks with grace. It seems to imply that being thankful imparts grace to us when we need it.
Perhaps a grateful heart can bring new vigor and a calmer outlook on life. Maybe if we want to improve the mood of our homes and create peaceful relationships within our families and workplace, we should practice praise.
I hope you’ve spent the week noticing God’s goodness all around you. Cultivating a grateful heart will promote power for victorious living, protection from the enemy, and a peace which passes understanding. It’s just plain worth it to be thankful. Need grace? Be thankful!
Read each week’s passage in two or more versions of the Bible. It’s a good idea to write your answers in a notebook and then post your comments on Facebook. It will hopefully prompt a lot of good discussion from those participating. Suggestion: download an app from Bible Gateway to bring up three different versions on the screen at one time. It’s a great tool.
Compare I Thessalonians 5:18 with Ephesians 5:19-20.
1. When and why and for what are we to be thankful? How can we express our gratitude from these verses?
Look at Philippians 2:14 with Philippians 4:4-7.
2. What should we NOT do as commanded here?
3. What should we do? What should accompany our prayers?
4. What are the benefits of praise, prayer and thanksgiving mentioned here?
5. What circumstances cause you to complain, grumble or fret? What’s making you anxious? What can you do to counteract negative attitudes?
Sometimes our response to a situation is often the solution to getting out of it.
As you study these verses and read what others have shared, take note of who is struggling. Do you identify with their comments? As you post your own hindrance to praise, let that person know you understand and are praying for them. They just might pray for you. It’s what the Body of Christ is all about!
Remember, I expect you to respond and interact with me and with others on our Facebook page. May God bless us as we study and interact together around His Word.