The Power in Giving Thanks

Ben CerulloBy Ben Cerullo5 Minutes

“When they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” 2 Chronicles 20:22

As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States this month, it’s good to remember that one of our most powerful weapons of warfare against the enemy is to worship the Lord and give Him thanks.

We’re told to do this even before we see the victory come to pass. Confident in the name of Jesus and the power of our prayers, we can let our requests be known to God “with thanksgiving” and then experience His peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7).

The Bible describes a time when this principle was utilized by King Jehoshaphat to defeat the enemy armies that came against the people of Judah. The worshipers were instructed to go out in front of Jehoshaphat’s army to give praise to the Lord. Even before they saw the victory come to pass, they proclaimed God’s faithfulness:

Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.

Do you remember what happened when they lifted up the name of the Lord? He set ambushes to defeat their enemies (2 Chronicles 20:21-23)!

What a great lesson for us. Yes, the enemies are real but there is overwhelming victory when we magnify and praise our great God. Without any of the fancy technology we have today, the early church turned the world upside down for Christ. What was their secret?

For one thing, they understood the incredible power they had in the name of Jesus. They recognized that everything in Heaven and on earth must ultimately bow to that name (Philippians 2:9-11).

Think of it: Every sickness…every chain…every addiction…every problem…every financial need…every relationship conflict they all must bow to the mighty name of Jesus Christ!

If you are going through a difficult situation right now, I encourage you to call on the victorious name of Jesus and start to praise Him. When you recognize Him as Lord of all, you can give Him thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)!

Only One Returned

Just as Jehoshaphat learned to give thanks to the Lord before the victory came, another story reminds us of the importance of also giving thanks after we’ve received a breakthrough from God. One day 10 lepers called on Jesus to heal them: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” they shouted (Luke 17:11-19).

These men had fervently called on the name of the Lord, and He told them to go and show themselves to the priests in order to confirm their healing. As they took steps of faith and obedience, each of these sick men was healed but only one of them, a Samaritan, returned to say thanks.

Jesus asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” This former leper took time to praise the Lord for his miracle, and Jesus told him, “Your faith has made you well.”

Friend, I encourage you to take a few minutes right now to think about all the things God has done for you. If your testimony is anything like mine, He has rescued you from sin and broken the chains from your life. And I bet you’ve also had times when He’s touched your body, given you financial provision, and blessed you in countless other ways.

So go ahead and praise Him. Lift up the name of Jesus, and thank Him for all He has done. When you do, this can be your day of victory.