Give Thanks and Praise (Part One): God Still Clothes the Lilies, Lesson 9- Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols

Give Thanks and Praise, Even in This (Part One): God Still Clothes the Lilies, Lesson 9

Do you constantly dwell on the negative circumstances of your life? Are you so focused on yourself and your problems that you can’t see what God is doing in and around you? Do you often feel hopeless and despondent?

Lesson nine is vital for everyone facing life’s challenges. (And Type-A, perfectionist, negative-prone people like me need this lesson plastered on our walls as a continual reminder!)

Lesson #9: Give Thanks and Praise, Even in This

Give Thanks and Praise, Even in This

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great above the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”
Psalm 108:3-4, ESV

Thank God—Even in This Difficult Situation

No matter how bad things may seem, there is always something we can thank God for! Not just one something — but thousands of somethings!!

Thank God for the simple things.

Thank Him for clean water. For your sense of touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste. For legs that walk and arms that move. For hands to feed yourself. For the beautiful and awe-inspiring creation He has given you to enjoy. For the roof over your head. For food in the pantry. Even for dirty dishes, which symbolize the fact food has filled your stomach.

Thank God for the sorrowful things.

The apostle Paul wrote the book of Ephesians from prison. Unfairly accused of starting a riot, he was in prison encouraging believers (in word and in example) to “give thanks to God always for everything” (v. 20).

How is it possible to give thanks for all things, even sorrowful things? Because God rules over all things. And because He does, we know that our sorrowful circumstance was filtered through His fingers of love. He allowed it to enter our lives for a loving purpose. In our affliction, God is working in for our good and His glory. (For a list of things He’s accomplishing, see A Few Reasons Why, Parts One, Two, and Three.)

Thank God for seemingly insufficient things.

Perhaps you feel you have insufficient health, or talents, or opportunities, or close friends, or material possessions. What seems insufficient to you might seem superabundant to someone else.

For example, you may feel you don’t enough money. Did you know that:

  • 925 million people do not have enough to eat—more than the combined populations of USA, Canada and the European Union.
  • Nearly half the world’s population, 2.8 billion people, survive on less than $2 a day
  • About 20 percent of the world’s population, 1.2 billion people, live on less than $1 a day

What you may spend during two or three trips to Starbucks is all that someone else has to live on for an entire week.

Thank God for the superb things.

This goes without saying. Thank God for the obvious blessings—the job promotion, the excellent grades in school, the sale of your home at the desired time, the health improvement, the word of encouragement at the precise time it was desperately needed.

Offer God a Sacrifice of Praise

Acts 16 gives the account of when Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison. They could have complained and been angry and ungrateful. But instead, they praised God.

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to 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 everyone’s bonds were unfastened” (Acts 16:25-26).

God Inhabits the Praises of His People

God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3)! If Paul and Silas had moaned and groaned singing, “Gloom, despair, and agony on me,” dwelling on all the things that had gone wrong in their lives, do you think anything revolutionary would have occurred?

Yet that’s exactly what we do! We moan, complain, dwell on the negative, get mad at God … and expect to feel His presence and experience His power. God does not inhabit the complaints of His people; He inhabits the praises of His people.

Praise is a Sacrifice

Under the new covenant, we no longer bring God sacrifices of blood for atonement. Instead, we’re to bring him a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving from our lips.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

The Amplified Bible says:

“Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.”

At all times, we’re to thankfully acknowledge, and confess, and praise, and glorify God!

Three Ways to Offer a Sacrifice of Praise

1. Scripture Reading / Confession: One way to offer a sacrifice of praise is to open the Bible to a Psalm of praise and read it aloud. If you feel ungrateful and resentful toward God, doing this will be miserable at first. But discipline yourself to follow through!

Read aloud scriptures that extol God’s greatness. Meditate on the words of these passages. There is spiritual power in the words that you speak (Prov. 18:20-21). As your ears hear your mouth praising the character and greatness of God, your flesh begins to come under the authority of the Spirit. The ungrateful, doubtful feelings and opinions of your natural man are overruled!

2. Take Thoughts Captive: Another way to offer a sacrifice of praise is to take your complaining thoughts captive. Memorize scriptures that extol God’s greatness, and when you catch yourself grumbling and complaining, replace those thoughts with truth from God’s word.

It helps to have scriptures posted around your home. When I glance at the scriptures on my wall, my thoughts that stand in opposition to God’s truth are exposed—immediately. If I didn’t have scriptures there, these thoughts might go unchecked. For example, when I see scriptures of praise on my walls, my grumbling heart is exposed. The light of God’s word shines in my heart and instantly, I’m convicted. I’m made aware of my attitude and the need to promptly take those thoughts captive!

3. Play Worship Music: Another way to offer a sacrifice of praise is to play worship music. You may not have time to stop what you’re doing, but if you’re able (e.g. not at work), play worship music in the background. When you’re in your car, preparing a meal in the kitchen, getting ready for work in the morning, brushing your teeth at night — Find a time at some point in the day to turn off the news, the entertainment, the talk shows, and fill the air with worship to the One who is worthy of your praise!

Part two of this lesson shares three powerful things that are accomplished when you offer God a sacrifice of praise.

TweetablesMore Tweetables

  • No matter how bad things may seem, there is always something you can thank God for. Click to tweet Tweet
  • “Are you facing problems? Thank God for the simple things, sorrowful things, and seemingly insufficient things. Click to tweet Tweet
  • What negative situation are you dwelling on? Complaining and worry helps nothing. Thanking and praising God does! Click to tweet Tweet
  • Are you complaining yet expecting God’s power to be demonstrated in your situation? It will not happen because… Click to tweet Tweet
  • What’s your attitude today—complaining or praising? God inhabits the praises of His people, not their complaints. Click to tweet Tweet
  • “Through [Jesus] let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise…” — Hebrews 13:15 Click to tweet Tweet
  • “I will praise You, Lord…. For Your faithful love is higher than the heavens.” — Psalm 108:3-4 Click to tweet Tweet


  • What negative circumstances in your life have you been dwelling on today? 
  • Are you so focused on these problems that you can’t see what God is doing in and around you?
  • What three things in each category are you’re thankful for:
    • Simple Things: 1.________ 2.________ 3.________
    • Sorrowful Things: 1.________ 2.________ 3.________
    • Seemingly Insufficient Things: 1.________ 2.________ 3.________
    • Superb Things: 1.________ 2.________ 3.________
  • What has dominated your attitude and internal dialogue today—complaints or praise?
  • Are you complaining yet expecting God’s power to be demonstrated in your situation? God doesn’t inhabit the complaints of His people; He inhabits the praises of His people.
  • In what specific ways are you continually offering God a sacrifice of praise?




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