Summary: This sermon is about practical steps on how to develop appreciation for God.
DEVELOPING A THANKFUL SPIRIT
(Pastor Ezekiel Oyekale)
God is worthy of our praise, adoration, and thanksgiving all the times. The scriptures says that God inhabits the praise of His people. The texts in Psalms says, “Let my MOUTH be FILLED with thy PRAISE and with thy honour ALL THE DAY (71:8). I will praise you, O Lord, WITH ALL MY HEART; before the gods I will sing your praise (138:1). Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's” (103:1-4). The text in I Thessalonians 5:15 enjoins all to praise the Lord at all times and in everything. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” There are great possibilities and blessings through praise unto God, the Almighty. Praising God should become lifestyles of His children.
A. How to Promote a Personal, Thankful Spirit
As God’s creature, you ought to have a lifestyle of praise to God. The mindset and the lifestyle that promote praise and thanksgiving to God is a must desire and must have experience for you as a believer (Psalms 145:2-5, 146:1-2; I Thessalonians 5:17-18). The text in I Peter 2:9 says, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” God’s praises should not be limited to a particular occasion or special time of the year. God must be praised in all weather, at all seasons and every time. For He alone does wonders. The mindset of praise and a thankful spirit make you thank and praise God, when you experience what you dislike or least expected and when your heart desire is granted you. Our God is beautiful for all situations ( Psalms 48:2). And He should be praised all the times. The steps on how to promote a personal grateful heart to your God include the following:
(1) Let it be settled in your heart that God is a good God; the knowledge of how good your God is will motivate you to praise Him. Therefore, you should meditate and study on the graciousness and the benevolence of God.
(2) The realization of the fact that it is not the situations that will dictate whether God loves you or not. He loves you regardless of your situation (John 13:1).
(3) Believe that God is willing to change your situations to favor you.
(4) The awareness that God cares for you always.
(5) Hope in hopeless situations. Expect miracles in the midst of disappointment.
(6) Let it be settled in your heart that the negative situation will soon be over. God will turn it around in your favor.
(7) The critical thinking; it could or might have been worst, were it not for your good LORD.
(8) Without Him you could do nothing. Therefore, praise God in everything.
(9) The realization that He allows certain things (negative things) in your life for good reasons. And He is willing to give you a good end.
(10) All things work together for good.
(11) The realization that delay is not necessarily a denial.
(12) Have the consciousness and the belief that God did not call you to be defeated.
B. Practical Steps to Develop Appreciation for God
Our God is the creator of all things. He is the giver of lives; He is the sustainer of His creations. In Him, we live and have our beings (Psalms 34:1, 35:28; Philippians 4:6). It is a good thing to ponder, meditate and consider how majestic, gracious, good and benevolent your God is. He is a wonderful God. He cares for His own people. He loves you and cares for you. The following submission will help you develop appreciation for your God:
(1) He created you (Psalms 100).
(2) He has the power of life and death.
(3) He is your sustainer.
(4) Without God you will or may fail, capture, remain in captivity, suffer or die.
(5) The knowledge that you are what you are by the grace of God.
(6) Nothing is too small or too little to thank God for.
(7) Nothing is too bad or worst to thank God for.
(8) Don’t blame God. Never blame God.
(9) Maintain a principle of God cannot be wrong.
(10) Keep the principle that God cannot be careless.
(11) Maintain a principle that God cannot be negligent.