Did you know that thankfulness is one of your greatest weapons in spiritual warfare? The Bible is replete with instructions to be thankful in all circumstances (Ps 50:14, 92:1; Eph 5:20; Phil 4:6; Col 3:15-17, 4:2; 1 Thess 5:18; Heb 13:15…to name a few). It is stated over and over and over how we are to do everything with prayer and thanksgiving. And there are many reasons for that. It certainly cultivates joy and brings glory and focus to the Lord, but did you know that it also dissolves enemy power?
Think about that for a minute. It dissolves enemy power.
For example, let’s say there is a big bully in the room that says something mean to you. Something like, “you are a failure.” Instead of receiving that and going down the rabbit hole of negative thoughts, you could instead turn your gaze to the Lord and say, “Thank you, God, that because your Son took on my sins and paid the penalty for them on the cross, I do not wear the label of ‘failure’ but of ‘redeemed.’ Thank you that you do not keep a record of my sins, but you choose to forget them.” And boom, not only does the glow of the Lord burn a little brighter inside, but you also just took a notch (maybe several) out of that bully. It shrinks in size.
Can you picture it? Its jaw drops as it shrinks.
How can that bully continue to stand strong when you praise God and thank Him with a genuine heart for how He sanctifies and redeems all things for your good? I can just hear that bully shriek, “what do I do with that?”
And if you don’t know how to turn something into a genuine place of thanksgiving, ask God how. I think that is something He is very eager to help you with.
Sometimes the difficulties we are facing are much more than a big bully in the room, but I believe this still applies. Even in our cries, we can remember how the Lord was faithful before and He will be faithful again, that He sees it all, is at work in it all, and will never, ever leave you. His Word promises each of those things. When we can’t remember the promises, our community can help us remember.
There are things to be thankful for that are strong pillars to hold onto in the midst of the storm.
Maybe then you begin to regain your footing, and holding onto that pillar (which is really the Lord Himself), maybe you begin to bravely command the wind and waves to stop with the authority delegated to you as a child of God and co-heir with Christ.
Thankfulness isn’t your only weapon, but it is a significant one. And when you keep at it, cultivating that joy and resisting that bully, it will eventually flee.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7