Summary: (PowerPoint Slides freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) How a spirit of thankfulness releases the burden of oppression and opens the heavens of provision.
Standing in Stubborn Thankfulness
Video Clip - Give Thanks - 1
The story is told of two old friends bumped into one another on the street one day. One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, "What has the world done to you, my old friend?"
The sad fellow said, "Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars."
"That’s a lot of money."
"But, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand free and clear."
"Sounds like you’ve been blessed . . ."
"You don’t understand!" he interrupted. "Last week my great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million."
Now he was really confused. "Then, why do you look so glum?"
"This week . . . nothing!"
The Thanksgiving Holiday is the perfect reminder that as believers that we have not only a repeated command but also abundant reason to focus our lives on joy and gratitude of thanks-giving and thanks-living.
This morning I want to invite you to open your Bibles to the book of Daniel - Daniel and chapter six - and I want to talk with you about Standing in Stubborn Thankfulness.
My thesis this morning is simple - thankfulness is not only possible, but it is commanded - and it is required as a principle choice, not a circumstance dependant response, if you want to life a successful life.
Have you stopped to consider the immense spiritual value of thankfulness? I would suggest to you that one of the most significant keys to the release of spiritual power is heartfelt and mouth expressed thankfulness - and one of the most life shaping qualities you can possess is a spirit of thankfulness. Thankfulness releases power - it is a gateway to anointing, to the miraculous and to the fulfillment of God’s promises. And the greater the cost of thanksgiving, the greater the release of power. In other words, the harder it is or the more of a sacrifice it is to give thanks - the more spiritual power your thanks releases.
Psalms 50:23 says it this way:- "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
Thankfulness, I would suggest to you this morning, was one of Daniel’s keys to success, influence and to spiritual power - he made a principle choice to be thankful - and I will show you that from the Word of God this morning.
Do you know how the apostle Paul began most of his letters in the Bible?
To the church in Rome he wrote - "First, I thank my God for all of you." (Romans 1:8)
To the church in Corinth - "I always thank God for you." (1 Corinthians 1:4).
To the church in Ephesus - "I have not stopped giving thanks for you; remembering you in my prayers." (Ephesians 1:16).
To the church in Philippi - "I thank my God every time I remember you." (Philippians 1:3).
To the church in Colossi - "I always thank God when I pray for you." (Colossians 1:3).
Are you a thankful person? Here’s the principle: -
People do not complain because they have problems - they have problems because they complain.
People are not ungrateful because they have so little - they have so little because they are ungrateful.
People are not disgruntled because life is hard - life is hard because they are disgruntled.
Psalm 77:3 says it this way, "I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed." (NKJV)
What’s happening here? Thanksgiving releases power - complaining grants satan unauthorized access. Church - I said "Thanksgiving releases power - complaining grants Satan unauthorized access."
Daniel 6:10 - Read - Pray
Daniel got down on his knees three times every day and prayed and gave thanks to his God. I believe what we need is stubborn thankfulness. How many of you know that you have got some stubbornness in you this morning? Well put your stubbornness on your thankfulness! Come on now - you know what I am talking about! What we need is a thankfulness that refuses to be quieted, will not be put down and that does not give way to the pressure of negative thinking, challenging obstacles or troubled times. You see my friend, this morning either you are standing in stubborn thankfulness or you are falling under the poison of ingratitude. Church - may I say that again? Either you are standing in stubborn thankfulness or you are falling under the poison of ingratitude. Despite his overwhelming circumstances, Daniel stood in stubborn gratitude. Let me tell you about his thankful spirit. There are a number of things you need to know about it.