I am thankful.

How do we stay changed? – Part 2

“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”   ~Psalm 145:3NIV

The only way to stay changed is to regroup every time you feel afraid, and consciously force yourself to pray. We must turn from fear of the unknown to gratitude for all the good in our life. And the only way to remain in this continual state of praise—counting our blessings and thanking Him for every one of them—is to start every day off with a prayer of thanksgiving! David, the author of the book of Psalms, says it well when he calls praising God, a declaration of God's works in our lives through rejoycing. This is the only sacrifice God wants from us, the sacrifice of thanksgiving!

“Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.”   ~Psalm 107:22

The prophet, Hosea, said nearly the same thing regarding our praises being the sacrifices of our lips. I love the way he explains that the people need to return to God and take words with them, to offer praise as a sacrifice of their lips.

“… Take words with you, and return to the Lord. Say to Him, take away all iniquity; receive us graciously, for we will offer the sacrifices of our lips…”   ~Hosea 14:2

God wants us to call upon Him; He desires the sacrifice of our lips and our vow of thanksgiving. God wants our gift of appreciative words, our gratitude, and praise. He wants us to focus solely on Him and all the good He’s given to us, and by doing so, fear will consequently vanish. Praise is the ultimate fear-buster!

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”   ~Hebrews 3:15 KJV

He wants us, every single aspect of us. He wants our thoughts and prayers, our worries and concerns, and our words of heartfelt gratitude for all He’s done. He asks us to pay our vows of gratitude! Not only because He is worthy, but because our words of gratitude-filled praise somehow opens the portal of God’s power to rescue us. If we are consciously accepting everything that’s happening, both the good and the bad, as a part of His great plan, we will then be able to trust Him to help us withstand the worst of storms in complete confidence and total peace.

Praising God in the storms actually confounds Satan. It confuses him as to why we would still thank God . . . when he's wanting us to get angry and blame him instead.

“Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”   ~Psalm 50:14-15

Yes, He wants us to praise Him because He's worthy, but also because it gets our thoughts back on all the blessings we have, rather than thinking about our problems. It’s the power of praise that keeps our minds from the corrupting thoughts and worries from Satan. Gratitude keeps our thoughts on God, which will, in turn, produce right conduct, because thoughts inevitably lead to deeds.

“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”   ~Psalm 50:23

G​od really wants to be friends with us and help us. Life’s so much easier if we just let-go, and let God! And the only way to stay in this state of surrender is to be reminded every day that we aren't just surrendering; we are turning our lives over to a much greater power than ourselves. By staying in the Word, we are, in essence, staying in God and in His will for our lives. We are standing down to our own lame will and letting God take control.

The following verse exemplifies the fact that we must, not only let go and trust God but also praise Him through the storms of our lives as well.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”   ~ Philippians 4:6-7

So here’s the formula for victory and peace: Have faith and don’t worry, take your needs to God, be grateful, count your blessings and thank Him.

Gratitude focuses on God!

If I can do this, anyone can! I was one of the most controlling, impatient, and fear-filled people on earth. I complained and worried about everything. . . but now I've learned to just rest in His perfect peace.

God helps us change, He doesn’t force us. He has gradually changed me by proving over and over that this formula works. Every time I get upset, afraid, worried, angry or impatient, I surrender to Him and start counting my blessings  . . . and miraculously, every single time I feel a rush of peace come over me. I’ve finally accepted that He will truly take care of all my needs!

“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”   ~Philippians 4:19

We simply need to let go and trust God. The biggest bonus to this type of surrender is that our lives will be filled with peace. By knowing that God can do anything we ask, as long as we are trusting in Him and His perfect will, we can finally find peace even in the worst of storms.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”   ~John 15:7

Q: Are you ​ready to speak words of praise instead of fear?

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You might say that I was a rather late spiritual bloomer, tripping my way into the Lord's arms not all that long ago. Nevertheless, I've been on the fast track ever since through a decade of Bible study courses and daily devotion. Changing careers a few years back and becoming a published author of Christian motivational books, leading to spiritual children's books and now this blog.

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