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November 24, 2021 1:16 pm
This week, David Chadwick and Jenn Houston bring you a special Thanksgiving Hopecast. On behalf of David and Moments of Hope Church, we hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving weekend.
David Chadwick welcome to this week's cast with my friends in Houston. Thank you Jim for joining me on the so He semi-stated for having me Cass purpose is to try to intersect faith and values with different things going on in our culture, and this is thanks giving week. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it is a wonderful time to celebrate Thanksgiving, so today's hope cast is going to focus on the power of Thanksgiving. It is one of the commands in the Scripture that we all need to follow, be thankful and interestingly the Bible even says be thankful in all things for this is God's will for you. So let's talk today Jen with our listeners about the power of Thanksgiving why it's important and how in the world. We can give thanks to God in all things, even those raunchy awful terrible things that have happened to us. Are you ready combating okay let's begin with the idea that Thanksgiving demands a direct object dramatically. If you use the word give thanks. There must be a direct object to your Thanksgiving of, for example, you would not go to the top of a mountain and cry out, give thanks and then just wait maybe for the echo to come back, but then not complete. To whom are you giving thanks because if you have received something that you're grateful for it, but someone has supplied that blessing or that gift to you. And whenever you have Thanksgiving it demands. I think an acknowledgment of God being the one who gave you those gifts. I love that so much and it causes us to have to use her voice. We were given a voice to give us in this way and give thanks with that voice to God. Now people might not understand this but Thanksgiving goes back to 1863 at the battle of Gettysburg at Lincoln gave his address and with in that we see a Thanksgiving that became a proclamation of a day of thanksgiving for our nation that has lasted ever since then.
So the whole idea of Thanksgiving in our nation came from formal war and all kinds of pain but we need to remember that America was founded upon a beautiful Declaration of Independence, a magnificent Constitution and Lincoln some years after the formation of our nation's all the multitude of blessings that God had given our nation so he demanded, and it was passed by Congress this day of Thanksgiving to God the direct object of thanksgiving to God for Lincoln noted in that Thanksgiving address that we had to acknowledge God is the bountiful benevolent giver of all of our gifts to our nation, Semites, and for some reason I'm thinking about the verse right now where Paul and Silas were giving praise and thanks to God in prison and their chains came Undine and the prison doors open and not just tears but everyone else says talk about the power of praise and thanksgiving. There's something in giving praise to God in the midst of our darkest hours and with Paul and Silas that praise time happened at midnight, their arms and legs shackled to a Roman prison cell in Philippi. They praised God and those shackles broke and I can't explain it. I really don't understand it, you have biblical example after biblical example, when the comes to mind in another place is King Jehoshaphat facing the Assyrian army 185,000 soldiers coming against him, to destroy the city of Jerusalem take over the nation of Israel, and he just goes to God in praise he gives thanks to God for what's going on and the text tells us that God sent an angel just one angel and defeated the 185,000 soldiers of the Assyrian army who disbursed ran back to Syria. King's inaccurate himself left and went back to Syria where he was immediately overthrown in a coup by his sons. The Israelites went out the next day and collected all the spoil of the Assyrian army. It happened because one king practiced the power of praise again that stories echoed with Paul and Silas in that Philippi prison.
We just know that when we praise God and give thanks to him. There's a power released in the universe that sets us free engine.
I think a big part of it is we take the responsibility off ourselves for our situations. We give them to God, we let him take care of the circumstances.
We can even say to him you run your universe I don't I trust you to do it in your way in your style in your form and when we do that again. It releases a power from God to set us free. Break our shackles and not only send our enemy forces in disarray away from us, but will collect the spoil from our enemy and be victorious over him now. I have asked the question because I was in a conversation with a a worship leader. He's kind of well known and that the worship circles and in America and is the story from Chronicles 2021. It is exactly interesting and she felt like the Lord said, this is a strategy for the church right now for 2020 10 interesting list that praise and thanksgiving. Now more than ever be. We know that song from Bethel that many churches seeing I raise a hallelujah is that same idea in the middle of my enemies have been there.
Something about praising God in the midst of our darkest days that allows the Holy Spirit great power to move. I think it releases the angelic armies to come and fight for us and again back to that first Chronicles 2021 story.
It was one angel who defeated the 185,000 Lord send me one angel help police to defeat the enemies coming against me. My guess is everyone out there listening right now feels some force of darkness coming against them and they need a power from on high income fight for them. It's too big for them in praise and thanksgiving is one of those weapons that we can use. Just remember, praise and thanksgiving demand a direct object. Remember your thanking God for all that he has given to you, which takes us to our next part of the subject. Jen not only does Thanksgiving demand a direct object Thanksgiving demands an acknowledgment of the blessings that we have received from that direct object.
So we give thanks to God for all he's given us.
But I think another thing that's helpful during an understanding of Thanksgiving. Make a Thanksgiving lesson actually list out the things for which you are thankful and I know you have an example of this in your own family situations. Definitely not families going through a little bit of tough time right now and one of the things that my mom has shared with me that's been transformative in this season for her is before she gets out of God, she thinks of three things to be grateful for and they can be repetitive. A couple days in a row, but it's an authentic expression of purpose in her mind to be grateful for the things that are given in the next in a hard time and when you set your focus icon at the beginning of the day before your feet hit the ground, it changes everything.
Is that an attitude of gratitude example.
It is now so you're focusing your mind on the things you have not on what you don't have, and especially the blessings that you have Psalm 103 verse two. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and don't forget all of his benefits and actually acknowledging them in your situation, this person actually acknowledging every morning. Three things for which she can be grateful. And we are asking our listeners to do something similar. Let me give an example. Marilyn and I knew of a team some years ago who was deeply depressed. Maybe even suicidal and interestingly today between the ages of 10 and 34. The second major cause of death is suicide not think about that 10-year-old five-year-olds 12-year-olds up through the teen years.
The second major cause of death or suicide and those of us who live here in the city of Charlotte North Carolina actually have seen some of those examples in middle and high schools over the last several weeks here and it's caused much distress and sadness in people's hearts here but it is a reality that cause of death being suicide in this young girl who was a teen at that point, just couldn't find anything in life to live for.
It just seemed hopeless, but we spoke to her and Sybil's just start making a Thanksgiving list. Find your reasons for living things that do help you, and at first she said Ike I just can't do it. There's nothing I can find for which to be thankful. We kept encouraging her will just anything this list that will soon enough. She started going okay. My next breath she said thank you God. Then she said for this morsel of food. Thank you God.
She did things like for hair on the top of my head.
Thank you Lord for the ability to see. Thank you.
And then she went outside and started seeing colors like never before. The green grass. The blue sky. She said thank you Lord.
She started thanking God for the different kinds of birds in the trees that she noticed and their actual chirping and what she found Jen was as she made this list. It got larger and larger and larger and within a few months she had over 800 entries into her diary regarding things for which she was thankful at the end of that time. Suddenly her mind started being thankful instead of being cursed, and it started looking at the good instead of the bad and her feelings then followed her attitude of gratitude and her life took on a new purpose of serving others to get them to start looking at their blessings, not the curses and she is a vibrant young woman today alive and well and it all began when she went from suicide to praise when she went from depression to Thanksgiving and I think you and I both are trying today to help emphasize had of an attitude of gratitude change your mind and one of the ways you you can do that is by listing out an actual specificity. Everything in your life for which you have reasons to be thankful and I think you'll find that list will go from dozens to even hundreds of things I totally agree and I think that one of my favorite things is when science confirms what Chris what Scripture says and Scripture says to be thankful in everything we've already talked about that but I interestingly found an article online from psychology today and there are actually scientifically proven benefits of gratitude. Can I share here is Jesus interesting. Well, this article states that gratitude opens the doors to more relationships and the idea is that when you're more grateful you're more kind you are kind to other people and is like a magnet that draws people to you. And that's exactly what is it like a magnet and another thing that the article highlights is that gratitude improves physical health" areas grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and grateful people are more likely to take care of their health. That's a good point and probably releases those endorphins inside of us, which are antidepressants. God's natural ways to fight depression, that's exactly right. Gratitude increases dopamine in your brain, which causes the increased happiness and we all want that we're looking to our phones to give us that that's not going won't happen over time will another thing that the article says is that attitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression and it says that a study from Kentucky, said that participants who were more grateful were less likely to retaliate against others, even when getting negative feedback interesting. It's so powerful and I love the connection here between the Greek word Eucharist, day out, because it proves in Scripture. That word means Thanksgiving are to be thankful. At the root of his joy in science confirms again the art of being grateful produces joy and ends at the finals as well. There's nothing that science discovers that is antithetical to God's work is amazing. The word of God is true and we find it being supported by what science discovers and hears yet another example of that. Let's take on again in at a little deeper level, though Jen this idea of giving thanks in all things and you I jokingly sometimes with listeners, say hey, look it up in the dictionary all means all means everything. Now why the world would God ask us to be thankful in the bad stuff that happened to us you know as a pastor, almost weekly. I have yet another story of some sadness that's going on in someone's life that the Bible says give thanks for them, I think partly it is to change our attitude and not fall into depression. Looking at the problem but looking at praise, but I think also that we as believers believe that God is in everything, even the awful stuff that happens to us and is using it for his glory. So we don't give thanks for what has happened like we don't give thanks for the cancer is not the author of cancer. Our God is a good God, he did not offer cancer, but we give thanks for how God uses cancer in its own way to drive us deeper and deeper into him. I have a lot of friends who have been through traumatized situations and after they been able to walk through it for a while. They look back and go you know what, even though it was awful.
It was painful. I'm not sure I'd ever want to go through it again and I certainly don't wish this upon anyone else. Even my enemies. I learned so much about Jesus and faith and suffering that help me then care for other people and a deeper level.
You know what I would want to go through it again but I really am glad I went through it and I think that's the essence of giving thanks in everything in all things. That's really powerful. It reminds me and I may have shared this before with our listeners is that on the Columbine shooting from years ago, one of the victims and actually had a mutation in her nasal passage that actually caught and held one of the birdshot bullets that was released and saved her life. Home. She was grateful for this mutation and you know where were born into a fallen world and mutations happen that God used for good faith in mankind is amazing that's like Corrie 10 boom, who in the Nazi concentration camp, gave thanks for the lice. When that happened she and her sister their immediate reaction was always bad enough being in the Holocaust concentration camp. Now we have lice but then they found out that later. The lice being present in their particular barrack was what kept the Nazi soldiers from coming in and taking them to the moratorium if you will, and indeed the lice saved their lives saved the lives of the women with them because they were able to hold their Bible studies freely because of the lice while in this just another example of giving thanks to God in all things. So listeners on this Thanksgiving week would you dare to pause for a moment and remind yourself that Thanksgiving demands a direct object that's God. He is the one who has given us all gifts so thank him particularly this week.
Also remember that giving thanks, means you are grateful for the gifts that that direct object. God has given to you so make a Thanksgiving list and make sure it's specific and you practice the power of praise, it releases endorphins, it releases the Holy Spirit like nothing else.
But finally, make sure you give thanks in all things, yes, even the painful stuff because God is in it somehow someway. He's working all things together for good for his glory and our good and we have to trust him in that particular expression so gin any final thanks giving thoughts for you. Well, I'm just grateful and thankful to be here and learn from you David and I'm just grateful for our listeners. There's think he semi-well and thank you listeners for joining us on a weekly basis with these hope cast on next week will look at another issue in the world through the lenses of faith and values but just this week we wanted to focus on Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving week. The power of praise and hopefully it encourages all of you to thank God for his many blessings, even in the tough stuff because it's working for his glory. God bless you all