“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”
There was a time I thought this verse was predominantly a prescription for entering into a praise and worship service at church; something you enter into and leave and start again the next time. This perception started to change when I first heard Graham Cooke say “every problem must come with a provision and a promise attached.” The more this statement has opened up to me, the more the Holy Spirit and I have explored its implications, the more my life has become filled with thanksgiving. Once I started looking at so-called problems from the perspective of the Spirit, I began seeing them as wonderful gifts waiting to be opened and enjoyed. And, one by one, these gifts have drawn me nearer to God, opened my heart to new ways of thinking and ignited a fresh passion and purpose in my life. Today, when a new situation arises—one I would have just months ago called a problem—I laugh with delight because my heart is genuinely thrilled to discover what God has hidden for me within it and from that place of delight my heart worships Him with genuine thanksgiving and praise for all the possibility and promise I know it contains.
Thanksgiving and praise have increased exponentially in my life as I have continued to listen to Graham’s teaching and as I have started my journey with The Warrior Class. Recently I had a wonderful, real life example of how much thanksgiving has permeated my conversations with the Holy Spirit and just what a difference it makes.
Late in the evening, the day before an audit, a situation came to my attention that had the potential to throw things for a loop if it wasn’t handled correctly. After sending a couple emails, I thanked God for His peace and wisdom and went to bed.
When morning came, I woke up more than an hour before my alarm was set to go off to the gentle invitation of the Holy Spirit to come and spend some time together. I smiled and moved to the couch where I spent some time in a wonderful conversation with Him that ended with songs of adoration, praise and thanksgiving. Instead of heading out the door rushed, wishing I would have had slept longer, I headed out refreshed and excited. All the way to work I was thanking God for revealing to me the piece I had to bring into this situation and for His wisdom, guidance and peace, not just for myself but imparted to everyone involved.
The first few minutes after I arrived were like walking into a whirlwind but because I was already engaged in conversation with the Holy Spirit I immediately knew what my piece was and how to give it. Soon people were calm, a plan was in place, the situation had been resolved and the meeting that hinged on all of this being done started with each person having everything they needed. Throughout the day one thing after another came out of this initial situation. Where three months ago I would have been overwhelmed and frustrated; I found myself singing, smiling as I gave thanks to the Lord and with each expression of worship and trust came an impartation of exactly what I needed at that moment—an idea, clarity, wisdom, understanding.
At the end of the day one of the people who had been the most impacted by everything that happened came to find me. She hugged me and thanked me for helping her out and told me how much she appreciated the fact that I stayed calm in the midst of what was, to her, utter chaos. She let me know that the meeting went well and she had everything she needed. We talked for a few minutes and, instead of leaving stressed, she left at peace and grateful.
Later that evening as I was winding down and reflecting on the tremendous difference thanksgiving had made in my day, it struck me that I could live like this every day, that “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.” is a key to inhabiting the place of God’s presence continually. It is an invitation to see every situation and circumstance overshadowed by His majesty and saturated in His promise and provision, which can’t help but lead to more thanksgiving and greater peace and joy. What an irresistible invitation and one I am overwhelmingly thankful to have discovered.
This month we’ve invited Warrior Class members to share their stories of thanksgiving and worship. Thank you to Anysia Derora for sharing her story with us! If you would like to learn more about The Warrior Class, please visit TWClass.org.
If you would like to share your story with us, please send an email to Media@BrilliantBookHouse.com