A group of us hunting buddies were having dinner at a local café in Montana and asked what their specialty was. The waitress responded, “Definitely our sour cream pie!” Being the adventurous men we are, we each ordered a slice for dessert. It was terrible! Visiting a different café sometime later, the waitress once again emphatically recommended the pie so we gave it another chance. This time it was great, and it was obvious they left out the sugar the previous time. Sugar is a necessary ingredient for the complete pie experience.
There is a necessary ingredient that will make all the difference when it comes to living and enjoying the rewarding, victorious life that Jesus paid for.
In Second Corinthians 11 and 12 Paul describes some of the hardships he suffered during his time in ministry. He questioned the Lord about this thorn in the flesh, and he received His answer to turn the situation around.
II Corinthians 12:9, And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Paul got a revelation that his response to these hardships would make all the difference for him. Instead of reacting to persecutions and sufferings by praying that God would take them away, he put a smile on his face and gave himself to praise and thanksgiving. Instead of running FROM them, he started running AT them.
When Paul described the buffeting (blow after blow) that the messenger of Satan brought against him, the worst one that came upon him daily was the care of all the churches. Think about that…with all the beatings, shipwrecks, and impossible situations he endured, CARE was the hardest one to deal with.
In Philippians 4, we find a recipe that Paul gave to the church at Philippi.
Philippians 4:6, Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Paul’s attitude completely changed. Notice that prayer and supplication are coupled WITH THANKSGIVING. Thanksgiving is to your life what sugar is to sour cream pie. It should flavor everything you do, and in return, it will cause victory in every area of your life.
Today, people are in a habitual flow of complaining, and their circumstances never change. Develop a flow of thanksgiving and get into the victory flow.
In Acts 16 Paul and Silas were thrown into prison FOR DOING GOOD DEEDS and notice what happened.
Acts 16:25-26, And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Paul and Silas first prayed—talked to God about their current situation, but then they began to praise God. They didn’t fill their mouth with complaining about the injustice that had been dealt to them; they began to praise their Lord, and they saw a SUDDENLY!
What could happen if thanksgiving and praise flavored everything you did and every situation you encountered? Paul proved this out in his life, and so can you. When heaviness or care tries closing in on you, do what Isaiah 61:3 tells us and PUT ON THE GARMENT OF PRAISE. A life of thanksgiving and praise will reflect peace, joy, abundance, and miracles.