One of the best things in life is to be thankful. It’s simple to remain thankful when we keep in mind what God has done for us. Take a moment right now to think about some of the things you’re thankful for.
My advice is to learn that when we have an attitude of thankfulness, that puts us in a frame of mind to believe the best, and we then can see how we can be successful and triumphant in every situation. By being thankful, we can help and serve others so that they can be victorious as well.
You Have Been Invited
Colossians 3:15 says, "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful." That spiritual truth means that we can let peace (that inner calm) be the controlling factor in your hearts and minds, which can help us decide and settle questions and concerns that may arise in our thoughts. To this spiritual peace, you have been invited as a believer. You have been invited to believe in and experience this spiritual peace in life. And be thankful for it.
There's So Much to Be Thankful For
We have so much to be thankful for. The house we live in. The food we eat. The clothes we wear. The school that we go to. The work that we do. And each other. I’m thankful for the family that I have. And all of our needs be being met. In Philippians 4:19, there’s a promise that all of our needs will be supplied.
Choose to Be Thankful
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that in every situation, we can choose to be thankful and to give thanks. Why? Why is thankfulness so important in our lives? When we are thankful, we are continually aware of the good things God has done for us and given us and invited us to experience. By being thankful, we practice the continual presence of God in our lives.
Colossians 1:12 says, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (made us sufficient) to be partakers (to share fully) of the inheritance of the saints (believers) in light. We give thanks that we can partake, live, and share fully everything this world has to offer.
2 Corinthians 2:14 says, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.” What’s that verse mean? When we give thanks to God, it causes us to be successful, victorious, prevail, achieve, and be triumphant in spirit. And through us and our success in life, that knowledge of God (what we know about God) is like a savor (a sweet fragrance) that is spread out and made evident (manifested) everywhere.
We’re thankful that God always, always, not sometimes, not only on Sundays, not once a month, but always, always causes us to triumph. Even if we face a negative situation, we can find something to be thankful for while claiming a promise of God with believing. An attitude of thankfulness puts us in a frame of mind to believe, and we can see that victory come to pass.
Remember (with thankfulness) what has been done for us. Remember what has been given to us. Remember (with thankfulness) who you are, where you are, and what you’re doing. Remembering (with thankfulness) will help us continue to stand on the spiritual truths that we know.
In the past, I was alone, broke, with no direction or hope. Then, I met an amazing, outstanding woman, and I became a new person, literally born-again. When we’re born again, we are made near to God. Ephesians 2:13 says “But now in Christ Jesus, you who sometimes were far off are made near.” When we’re aware of truths like this, it’s simple to be full of thanks. Our logical response now to everything in my life is to be thankful. And to take a stand for God, and give and live in service.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of being thankful and serving others. And do not be conformed to this world any longer with its superficial values and customs, but be transformed and progressively changed as you mature spiritually by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove for yourselves what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect in His plan and purpose for you.
Being thankful helps us serve (to do things for others) with a renewed mind and spiritual attitude: when we pray for someone else who has a need, when we reach out and help someone, when we give someone our time and watch a movie together, when we teach someone something new, when we help someone with something their struggling with, when we prepare a meal for someone, when we take care of someone’s child babysitting, when we simply give someone a refreshing drink or a 10-second hug. We can be that type of person who as an attitude of being thankful which puts us in a frame of mind to believe. And when there’s an opportunity to serve, we’re the first ones to say, “Here you go. I can do that for you.” And the result of our service with a thankful heart and mind is that others are blessed, God is glorified, and we are always richly rewarded when we serve others with love in our hearts.
Thankfulness in our hearts also smooths the way for a relationship to be sweeter. When we are thankful for what God has done for us, we may find it easier to forgive others, because we remember what God has forgiven us for.
Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Being thankful truly helps us put on the mind of Christ and be like him. Being thankful is so important in our lives. Thankfulness actually leads to giving thanks. Thankfulness inspires us to serve others and to give thanks. Thanks be to God.
Ephesians 5:20 says, “Give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The truth of the matter is to give thanks, and to do it always. It takes no extra time at all to be thankful and to give thanks for all our blessings. And to give thanks well, we pray.
Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a group of folks in Thessalonica (a port in Greece, north of Athens), and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-27 reads, “Rejoice always and delight in your believing. Be unceasing and persistent in prayer. In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God. For this is the will of God for you. Do not quench subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of the holy spirit that is in you. Do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecies, which are spoken revelations—words of instruction or exhortation that you receive by praying. But test and examine and think about all things carefully so you can recognize what is good. Hold firmly to what is good. … and pray. And greet all the believers with a holy kiss. I solemnly charge you to have this read before all the congregation.”
It's a Choice
Thankfulness is a choice. God’s will for us is to have a thankful heart and mind and give thanks in everything. So that’s what we choose to do. By our choice, we determine our own thankfulness. Rather than focusing on the inconveniences, the negatives, or the pain of the situation, we can choose to remember what God has done for us, what we’re thankful for, so that we can live a life filled with love, joy, peace, power, and also to help others.
A key to maintaining a mindset of thankfulness is prayer. When we pray, we speak to God from our hearts. We share our deepest thoughts. We get quiet and speak. Just like a child speaks to her dad. Praying helps get our thoughts straight. It also helps us unwind and release what's going on in our heads. Praying helps us remember that our needs our met. It can bring to mind what has been given to us.
Apostle Paul knew about the power of prayer when he wrote not just to believers in Philippi a long time ago, but also to you. To you, a letter which in Philippians 4:6 reads, “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything, every circumstance and situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your specific requests known to God. And what will result? The peace of God, that peace which reassures your heart, that peace which transcends everything you understanding, that peace which stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, that peace is yours.”
I have learned that the more thankful I am for what I have today, the more I'll have to be thankful for tomorrow. The blessings just keep coming.
Giving thanks is so important in our lives. It helps us see what God has done for us. It helps us help and serve others. Being thankful is a choice. We choose what to put in our minds. We choose what thoughts stay in our minds. Rather than feeding ourselves negative thoughts and focusing on the bad things, we choose to remember, to look at, the good things, what has been done for us, given to us to enjoy, so that we can joyfully give thanks in everything. We choose to be thankful. And we have so much to be thankful for. Let’s keep developing and working on our thoughts of thankfulness and enjoy the rich blessings and success in our lives. Let’s be thankful in every situation every day.
I hope that advice helps you be a better man and live a better life.
Right up front, I'm going to say that it's ultimately up to you to answer this question in order for the answer to mean something in your life.
My answer is, "Yes." But that answer does not help you, unless you believe it.
It's reasonable to believe in something without having to prove the assertion. Let me repeat that. It's reasonable to believe in something without being required to prove that thing exists.
But Can You Prove God Exists?
My answer is, "Yes." Give me the next 60 seconds to provide a reasonable explanation to my answer.
Man's Best Friend
I grew up with a dog name Bandit. That dog loved me. He walked with me. He talked with me. He protected me. He came when I called for him. He answered me. He was my best friend. I couldn't imagine growing up without that dog. He loved me. That dog loved me.
But I can't prove it. I can't prove that my dog loved me. There's no evidence. There's no science or data that can prove that his love for me existed. And to require evidence that a dog is man's best friend seems unreasonable. We all know this to be true.
Sometimes my wife is in pain. Not all the time. Just sometimes. That's my wife in the picture. She's the most beautiful woman in the world.
Sometimes her pain, on a scale from 1 to 10, is a 15. Again, it's not persistent, it's not all the time. It's here and there. If any of you have ever had back pain, it's a real pain in the butt. Heh. It's something that is always with you, some times you forget it, and then, "Bam!" It's there.
It's been years. We've had the best doctors. The best science has been researched and applied. We've taken tests and seen the results and made decisions based upon that data. And we're doing better. The pain is going away. And we're getting healthier and healthier every day. My wife will be 100% healthy at some point, maybe it's today. And we'll celebrate that "day without pain" for sure.
But to ask my wife to prove she's in pain is unreasonable. The doctors, science, and data do not prove the pain exists. But it does. It's subjective. Only my wife, my wife alone, can tell you what she's experiencing, can tell you what she's going through. It can't be measured. Doctors and scientists can acknowledge what people testify to, but often they can't prove it.
Prove Your Love
If you think you are in love and that your companion loves you, just ask them for information that you can verify, specifically with a neutral third-party scientist that could prove the love. This should be simple for any mature, reasonable human being who says they're in love. Yes? Just ask your companion to prove it. See what they say. I warn you, this may start a dispute.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is the obligation of someone in a dispute to provide sufficient justification for their position, which may include perceptual experience (the evidence brought to you by your senses), reason (making sense of things based upon existing information), and authoritative testimony (solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter; to bear witness to; to declare something to be correct, true, or genuine; to declare the truth of something in words or writing).
But my dog and I, my wife and I, are not in a dispute. I remember my dog. And I believe my wife.
The Queen of England and President Trump
I have every reason to believe these two human beings exist. They are alive and well, at least for the time being. I believe they exist even though I've never met them. I've never actually seen them. I've never heard them say a single word. I've never touched them. Or smelled them. I've never even taken a picture of them. I've stood in front of the Queen's castle and the White House. But I have actually no evidence they exist. Yet I have every reason to believe they do.
Millions of people follow them. (Trump has more than 84 million Twitter followers, as of today). Millions have said they've seen these people. People say that they've been deeply and forever affected by their words and actions. People say that they've changed their entire lives, because of these two people (Trump and the Queen). Many people hate them. Many love them.
It's reasonable for me to assume that millions of people are not lying to themselves and to others. They're not imaging things. It would be unreasonable for me to require millions of people for 3rd-party neutral scientific evidence of what they believe in Trump or the Queen of England. And it's not unreasonable because I have never met Trump or the Queen of England, or that I don't believe those two people exist, it's just because it's unreasonable, it's not rational, to require proof of the assertion that they do indeed exist.
Describe God To Me
You could probably describe your best friend's personality, distinguishing characteristics, favorite food, or hobbies. Right? Just as you can describe your friend, you can actually describe what God is. Thousands of years ago, men and women testified as to what they described as God. Their descriptions are written down in the bible. People, inspired by God, wrote down what they believed best describes what God is. God, my inspiring people, gave us a description of himself in his Word, so that you can know God. Let’s learn about what God is by taking a look a few biblical verses.
In Genesis 1:1, we see that God is a creator.
In Deuteronomy 7:9, God is faithful, which means reliable; trusted; true to one's word, promises, and assertions.
Psalms 34:8 says that God is good.
Psalms 135:5 says that God is great.
Psalms 147:5 says that God is powerful.
Isaiah 26:4 says that God is strong.
John 4:24 says that God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Not a Man
Is God an old man with a big, bushy grey beard? No. Is God a man? No. Is God a woman? No. Is God Jesus? No. No to all of those questions. God is spirit, energy, and light.
The word “worship” in that verse (John 4:24) is the Greek word pronounced "pros-koo-neh'-o," which means to reverence. Worship is a feeling, attitude or gesture of deep respect; an act of devotion; adoration, or manifestation or acknowledgement offered to God. And the word “spirit” in that verse is the Greek word "pneuma," which refers to the spiritual energy inside you. Spirit connects you to God and everything in the universe. You may want to read "Spirit is a Force" in TheKingsGuide.com for more information.
God is peace in 1 Corinthians 14:33.
God is a father in 1 Corinthians 8:6, which says "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." Acknowledging God as a “father,” our heavenly father, help us realize all that he can and will do for us. Just as an earthly father has certain abilities that enable him to care for his children, God, our heavenly father, cares for us and fulfills his promises.
Ephesians 1:3 says that "God is our heavenly father, and father of Jesus Christ." So, God is also a father to Jesus Christ, who was a wonderful spiritual man.
Philippians 4:19 says that God is a supplier. And this is where where praying comes in. You may want to read "Trusting in God by Praying" in TheKingsGuide.com to learn what praying is.
1 John 1:5 says that God is light. Light. God is energy and light. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says that we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting. When we live in the light, we see things others can not. The unseen things of the world become visible and known to us, and we thereby become wise.
1 John 4:16 says that God is love. That's pretty plain and simple to understand. What do you love? I love my wife, my children, pepperoni pizza, football, and many other things. But who do you love? Who? Wherever there is love between people, there God is. Matthew 18:20 says, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” To learn more about being in the midst, read "The Meaning of Life Is in the Middle" from TheKingsGuide.com
In conclusion, we now have a pretty good description of God. People are always looking for evidence or proof of God existence. They do not see that God is all around us. He’s creation, goodness, peace, light, and love. It's reasonable to believe in something without having to prove it. Now, by studying God’s Word, we have a pretty good idea of who God is.
For advice on being a better husband, father and man, and learning how to live like a king, read more from The King's Guide. Please follow @TheKingGuide on Instagram.
Visualization has been a part of elite sports for a long time. Olympic athletes use images of victory to help them achieve their goals and win competitions. Athletes mentally practice and simulate the competition. For example, a down hill skier may sit in a chair, close their eyes, and mentally visualize the downhill course, including every curve and turn.
We too can use believing images of victory to experience great success in our lives. We can picture ourselves speaking God’s Word with confidence and boldness, overcoming hesitation.
Apostle Paul while in prison wrote to people who lived in Philippi (Philippians Chapter 2:15-16). He wrote this letter to express his appreciation and affection for the Philippian believers, and the spiritual truths that she shared with the Philippians back then are applicable for us today. He wrote that we may show ourselves to be innocent and uncontaminated in the midst of crooked and wicked people, among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the dark world, holding out to it and offering to all men and women the Word of Life. Paul had a believing image of the Word of Life being held forth by people who believed in God. We too can build a believing image of ourselves doing the same thing.
One example of a believing image of victory is that we can see ourselves as bold ambassadors for Christ. We can mentally hold an image of ourselves that is described in II Corinthians 5:20, which says that we are ambassadors for Christ. In the King James Version, 2 Cor 5:20 says,
What does "ambassadors for Christ" mean? It means that we are people who can act as representatives or promoters. We represent. We promote. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God was making an appeal through us. We promote, we speak, we demonstrate, we live as examples of how to be reconciled to God. What does it mean to be "reconciled to God."
On a basic human level, when two people (especially two people who are friends) have a disagreement about something, or when one person does something hurtful to the other, it causes a rift in their relationship. The more serious the issue is, or the more one person is hurt by the other (especially if the hurtful actions are intentional), the deeper that rift will be. For those two people to return to their former state of harmony and agreement, it is necessary for those two people to become reconciled to one another -- that is, for one or both people to indicate through their words and/or actions: (a) the reason for the break in their relationship; (b) a responsibility for contributing to that break; (c) some regret or sorrow for those words or actions; and (d) a promise that the cause of the break will not be repeated. Now, God created us to live in perfect harmony and fellowship with Himself. Since God is spirit, fellowship between God and us therefore requires some spiritual work, some necessary thoughts or actions to keep our fellowship connected and in good shape.
God is making an appeal through us (asking others urgently and fervently to do something). We plead on Christ's behalf (we offer or present a reason for doing or not doing something) to be reconciled to God (to build or restore friendly relations between us and God). And that's what Paul meant in his letter. He wanted people to be ambassadors who help people get reconciled or back together with God. And remember, what is God? Creator, Faithful, Good, Great, Powerful, Strong, Spirit, Not a Man, Peace, Father, Supplier, Light, and Love. In 1 John 4:16, it says that God is love. That's pretty plain and simple to understand. What do you love? I love my wife, my children, pepperoni pizza, football, and many other things. But who do you love? Who? Because where there is love between people, there God is.
Prepare to Be Ambassadors
One way to help prepare ourselves to help others build a good relationship between them and God is by seeing ourselves (picturing ourselves) as ambassadors, just like Jesus did. Jesus had spoke, acted, and lived with the authority and dignity to represent God. We can see ourselves just like that, speaking God’s Word in our community and workplace with confidence and boldness. But what does "speaking God's Word" mean?
What should we speak? According to Philippians 4:8, Paul recommends that we could talk to others about:
This is speaking God's Word.
We can see ourselves as ambassadors (representatives and good examples) of living a life that is "reconciled" or connected with power, abundance, and love. We can picture ourselves helping guide someone through a class, a good book, or a fellowship teaching. We can see ourselves as someone that others can simply come to and talk with. We can see ourselves as someone who helps others, speaks well about others, and treats others as we would want to be treated.
Another part of our believing image of victory is to see ourselves speaking the Word boldly and not having any hesitation to hold back our words. In Ephesians 6:19-20, the Apostle Paul believed God to successfully speak as he “ought to speak,” with nothing holding him back. We can certainly believe God to open some doors (opportunities) so that we can speak and talk to other people about what we know and want to share. And we can always picture ourselves opening our mouths and speaking God’s Word with boldness and with love.
Let’s now consider a practical key that will build our believing images of victory and help us speak the Word to others. And that practical key is to set specific goals. Rather than passively expecting circumstances to prompt us to speak God’s Word, we actively seek opportunities to speak for God and bring love and reconciliation to people. For example, we could set the goal to speak God’s Word to one neighbor or person while walking outside in the community. Let’s always remember that God works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13), so we can be successful in setting specific goals that will help us carry out our believing images of victory in outreach. How many people do you plan to speak God’s Word to the next time you are out in your neighborhood? How about one person? How about speaking something to that one person that relates to that list Paul gave us: Paul recommended that we could talk to others about: things that are true, things that are honest, things that are just, things that are pure, things that are lovely, and things that are of good report. Talk about one of those things.
Another practical key that will help us build our believing image of victory is to further develop our knowledge of God’s Word with a vision of speaking spiritual truths to others. We can prepare ourselves to speak God’s Word. To prepare, we could consider one verse and how to clearly communicate the meaning of that one verse to a person who has never heard it. For example, we could study Mathew 5:16, which says:
That verse says that we can let our lights shine before other people, so that they may see the good things we do and that we give thanks. And when we're out and about in our neighborhood, we can have a great day, do fun things, and express to a nearby person how thankful we are to be living an abundant life. You could say, "Life is good. I'm sure thankful."
We could also prepare examples of how good our life is. The weather is a good common-ground topic that we can also talk about with each other. I could say, "Today's weather is something special. Ain't it? I sure am thankful to be outside enjoying with everyone."
So, prepare. We can prepare to speak. Preparation builds confidence and boldness. Let’s picture ourselves doing that. We will be surprised by how naturally and boldly we can explain spiritual truths to people because we have prepared.
As born-again believers, let’s enjoy building our believing images of victory when speaking to other people and helping people build a good relationship with God. We can see ourselves as ambassadors for Christ, boldly speaking the Word, and sharing with others those simple spiritual truths that we have prepared. Just as great athletes in the world today experience success, we can achieve success in our lives by building believing images of victory!
If you enjoyed this article I wrote for my family, you may also be interested in learning "How to Renew the Mind." You can also drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or better yet, like The Kings Guide on our Facebook page. Thank you!