Have you ever used a magnifying glass? As you view objects through a lens of a magnifying glass, whatever you focus on becomes magnified. Meanwhile, whatever you are not magnifying becomes out of focus.
In essence, in life you always have choice as to what you will magnify: the problem or the solution. In every situation you face, in every season you encounter, you always have a choice: to complain or to be thankful.
However, it is very hard to complain when you are thankful. Likewise, it is hard to be thankful when you are complaining.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Th. 5:18)
Please notice, Paul did not say: “Give thanks for everything.” No, Paul exhorts us “IN everything give thanks.”
For instance, it is wrong to give God thanks for cancer. Jesus died to redeem your life from the curse, that includes cancer. Rather it is virtuous to magnify the Lord and not the cancer saying: “Lord, I thank you that by Your stripes I were healed (1 Pt. 2:24)”
In a similar fashion, if you have been the victim of some evil injustice. You are not expected to give thanks for being treated the way you have. But rather, you have the choice magnify the Lord and not the problem saying: “Lord, thank you that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. For righteousness is from you (Is. 54:17). Lord, I thank you that you are my strength and my song, and you have become my salvation (healer, deliver, provider, etc.) you are my God and I will praise you (Ex. 15:2). Lord thank you that you are my shield and exceedingly great reward (Gen. 15:1).”
When we turn our eyes upon Jesus, the things of this world will grow strangely dim.
Our natural reaction wants to react based on our senses. This wisdom is not from God (James 3:14-16). To be naturally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Rom. 8:6)
Thanksgiving is a virtuous response of a child of God endeavoring to magnify the Truth and not the problem.
Thanksgiving is a virtue. Thanksgiving is powerful and it will guard your heart and mind to be steadfast in seeing life through the eyes of His Word.
In fact, Scripture says: “He Who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me; and he who orders his way aright [who prepares the way that I may show him], to him I will demonstrate the salvation of God.” (Ps. 52:23, AMP)
Thanksgiving not only honors and glorifies God. Thanksgiving prepares the way for God to demonstrate His salvation.
When we magnify and put all of our focus and trust in the problem. That is fear and unbelief which will always nullify the salvation of God that we need and desire. However, thanksgiving magnifies God, placing all of our focus, energy and trust in Him despite the problem.
In reality we cannot make God any bigger. God changes not (Mal. 3:6). However, we can magnify God in our perception. We can magnify God in our minds. We can magnify believing and trusting that God reigns in our situation rather than assuming and allowing the situation to reign over us. Thanksgiving is the virtue by which we govern our mind, will and emotion to declare: I am believing my God!
Thanksgiving is giving my faith in His Word a voice and drowning out the perception of any voice that would speak contrary to the Truth of God’s Word.
Thanksgiving mutes the voice of unbelief and doubting from allowing our faith to become shipwreck. Thanksgiving energizes our faith to stand firmly on His Word with all assurance and boldness. Thanksgiving receives what God has provided freely by His grace and mercy that never fails.
“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” (Jer. 17:5-8, KJV)
In Jeremiah God paints the portrait of a two men: one cursed, one blessed; one is trusting flesh for his strength (himself and/or other people) for his strength while the other one is trusting no one but the Lord. The cursed man is merely existing in the parched places of the desert, while the blessed man is purposefully planted by the river of life.
If you will notice, both men have a blind spot. The cursed man does not see the good when it comes. Please note, the good is there for both men. But the cursed man does not see the good that “cometh” (comes and continues to come). Why? The curse man is not focused on the good. His magnifying glass is focused on flesh and the problem.
However, the blessed man has a blind spot too. The blessed man does not the see the heat that “cometh” (comes and continues to come). The heat is there. The drought and famine is there. The challenging circumstances is there and it continues to come. But why does he not see it? Because his trust, his magnifying focus is not on anything else but his Lord. Therefore, despite the fact that the heat is there and continues to come, he spreads out his roots by the water. His leaves are always green. He is not even careful in the year of drought and he never ceases from yielding fruit.
On the scene, where Jesus fed the multitudes. There was a need. Jesus saw the need and delegated that need to His disciples. The disciples said: “We do not have the resources to meet this need.” Jesus said, “show Me what you have.”
Jesus was looking at the need through God’s eyes. The disciples were looking at the same need through their eyes. They were both looking at the same resources. The disciples saw a lunch for two. Jesus saw a lunch for thousands.
There were the same resources but the vision was different.
Jesus took the same apparent lack and fed everyone with 12 baskets leftover not because the resources changed or were different but because the vision was different.
Those who see a need with natural eyes will only see natural resources and respond with what they have. Those who see their need in context of the Kingdom will look at their spiritual resources and put them to work.
“And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.” (Jn. 6:11)
When we magnify Jesus, giving thanks from a Kingdom perspective. Nothing is impossible for him who believes (Mk. 9:23). We can do all things through Christ Who gives us strength (Phi. 4:13). God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine according to His power (His fullness) that is at work in us (Eph. 3:20-21).
“He Who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me; and he who orders his way aright [who prepares the way that I may show him], to him I will demonstrate the salvation of God.” (Ps. 52:23, AMP)