Recently we have been reminded what an important part thankfulness plays in our healing. Whilst in Cambodia earlier this year, time and again we asked those for whom we had prayed to check out what was happening in their bodies following prayer. Several times if the pain still persisted or full movement hadn't been restored to their limbs etc, we simply encouraged them to thank Jesus for their healing. On many occasions we saw the fullness of the healing manifest immediately. It highlighted just how important thankfulness is in the Kingdom of God. I believe this is for several reasons - not by any means an exhaustive list but a few points to consider.
1. It keeps us focussed on Jesus and not on the pain or the symptoms. Thankfulness is a decision. In other words we can choose to be thankful even though the fullness of the promise or the answer to our prayers are not immediate. Paul exhorts us to give thanks IN all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18). (Emphasis mine)
2. It prevents the enemy robbing from us. He can't stand to be around thankful people who are giving praise to God for the answer even before it arrives. The Bible declares we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7) Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not (yet) seen. (Heb 11:1)
3. It ushers us into God's Presence. Psalm 100:4 says we enter His gates with thanksgiving...In other words we come into His Presence when we have a thankful heart not out of duty but out of sheer gratitude for who He is and what He's done for us. When we truly are in His Presence everything we need is there - fullness of joy, perfect liberty, peace, provision and so much more.
4. It neutralises discouragement. Discouragement simply can’t ‘hang around’ when you are intentionally giving thanks to God for all He’s done. Many times over the last 15 years discouragement has tried to rob us of our joy, get us side tracked and even give up on the vision of seeing the Healing Rooms opened 5 days a week. Each and every time the way we neutralise its destructive plan is to remind ourselves of the hundreds of testimonies of healing, salvation and breakthrough the Lord has graciously allowed us to partner with Him in here at CHR. As we scroll through page after page of people’s testimonies of healing we can do nothing else but be thankful - it’s a natural heart response to the goodness and faithfulness of God.
5. It changes our perspective on everything. We read in John 6 about a miracle where over 5000 were fed. The crowd was a long way from provision - naturally speaking - they had “followed Him because they saw the miraculous signs He had performed on the sick” (John 6:2 NIV). All there was to feed this enormous crowd was 5 loaves and 2 small fish. It was when Jesus gave thanks and began to distribute the food to the crowd the multiplication miracle began. In an ‘attitude of gratitude’ or thankfulness the small became great.
6. It is an expression of trust. When we begin to thank Him for all He’s doing and even yet to do - not out of duty but out of a sense of sincere gratitude it demonstrates our trust in Him to work all things together for our good.
7. It’s a command of Scripture - be anxious for nothing but in EVERYTHING, …with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. (Phil 4:6-7 emphasis added). There is a promise attached to this command.THE GOOD NEWS of this promise is the peace of God which is beyond our understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. There is NO greater peace.
Let me encourage you to develop and maintain and attitude of gratitude!