Today, I want to share with you a personal truth that I have been learning — the power of thanksgiving.
Although having a grateful heart toward the Lord has been part of who I am for a long time, recently I’ve come to understand thankfulness at a whole new level.
It started with taking hold in a deeper way for healings that I needed and that I just didn’t seem to be making any headway toward receiving. I already understood the principles of receiving healing:
1.) It is the Lord’s desire for us to be healed (Psalm 103:3).
2.) Jesus paid the full price for our healing through the cross and the scourging leading up to the cross. (“With His stripes we are healed.” — Isaiah 53:5)
3.) Our healing (along with many other things) was fully accomplished at the cross. That’s why Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
4.) We can ask the Lord for healing in Jesus’ Name and then appropriate (receive) it by simply believing it is already done for us (Mark 11:24).
However, what I hadn’t ever quite gotten hold of as well as I should was that I could just rest in Jesus’ finished work of healing for me and thank Him that it was a done deal — even if the symptoms did still persist for a while — and the health problems would clear up.
I read Joseph Prince’s books, Destined to Reign and Unmerited Favor, learned a whole lot more about grace and the finished work of Jesus than I’d ever known before, and began to catch hold of what it is to dwell in the rest of God — and to be thankful in the midst of that rest, knowing that the work has already been done on my behalf.
After a while, I noticed something else about thanking God: it does something to the inner man. I began to feel supernatural faith arise inside for whatever healing I needed. In fact, as I persisted in thanking God that Jesus had already done it for me, I found myself really settling down deep into that faith. I really believed I was healed.
And as I thanked God, my heart became joyful — and peaceful too. I found that my thoughts were focusing on Jesus instead of the health issue. It is about coming into the abiding place that Jesus talked about in John 15 — including that wonderful promise in verse 7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done for you.” And here is the best part of all: I found that thanking the Lord led me into a deeper love for Him, and that as I thanked Him from my heart His Presence gathered around me.
I’m now expanding what I’ve learned about thanking God for the answer to other things besides healing. There are many things Jesus purchased for us at the cross, and the “ask, rest, and be thankful” principle can be applied to those as well. Whatever the need, Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not be care-filled about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” When we do that, “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
When circumstances appear overwhelming and prayer about them feels like it isn’t getting through, when I begin thanking the Lord aloud that He has heard me and is already pouring out the answer, I get real happy in a hurry. Anxiety just can’t hang around. Neither can the temptation to doubt. Faith and joy bubble up inside, and Isaiah 12:3 becomes tangible reality: “Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation.”