Spiritually Speaking – November 2018

Spiritually Speaking

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”  Psalm 107:8

Remembering to Say “Thank You”

In the Old Testament, we find an interesting story of how King Jehoshaphat took an uncommon approach when his enemies waged war against him. Instead of sending in his army first, he sent in the choir and musicians.

Imagine the scene: “All right, guys, here’s the plan today. An army is out there, armed to the teeth. So, we are sending in the choir and the musicians.” If I had been one of the choir members or musicians, I might have wondered what the king really thought of our music.

But God had directed Jehoshaphat in this unusual battle tactic. We read that Jehoshaphat appointed people to sing to the Lord, praise the beauty of holiness, and go out in front of the army saying, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever!”  2 Chronicles 20:21

So that is exactly what they did. The Bible tells us that—when they began to sing and praise, God sent an ambush against the enemy, who was then destroyed. God’s people were able to go into this situation giving thanks, because He was in control.

In approaching God to ask for new blessings, we should never forget to thank Him for the blessings He has already given. Have you recently come to God for help—and He came through for you? Did you go back to say “thank you”?

If we would stop and think about how many of the prayers, which we’ve offered to God, have already been answered—and how seldom we go back to God to thank Him, it just might amaze us.

We should be just as deliberate in giving thanks to God, as we are in asking for His help.

Pastor Greg Laurie

What if there were a solution to stress that involves nothing more than feeling thankful for the good things in your life? In fact, there is. That solution is called gratitude.

According to research, people who regularly practice feeling thankful have a leg up when it comes to their health. Research has found that those who adopt an “attitude of gratitude” as a permanent state of mind… experience many health benefits.

Grateful people may be more likely to:

• Take better care of themselves physically and mentally
• Engage in more protective health behaviors and maintenance
• Get more regular exercise
• Eat a healthier diet
• Have improved mental alertness
• Schedule regular physical examinations with their doctors
• Cope better with stress and daily challenges
• Feel happier and more optimistic
• Avoid problematic physical symptoms
• Have stronger immune systems
• Maintain a brighter view of the future

Consider integrating the following four steps in your daily life:

1. Focus attention outward:
Gratitude is defined by your attitude toward both the outside world and yourself. Those who are more aware of the positives in their lives tend to focus their attention outside of themselves.

2. Be mindful of what you have:
It’s not how much you have, but how you feel about what you have that may make the difference.

3. Keep a gratitude journal:
Recording what you feel grateful for in a journal is a great way to give thanks on a regular basis.

4. Reframe situations as positive:
Rather than getting upset about missing an opportunity, try to see the positive side. You might now have more time to direct towards other priorities.

Research by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D.,
Professor of Psychology, University of California

Be Kind.
Be thoughtful.
Be genuine.
But most of all,