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Thanksgiving Therapy

Thanksgiving is that weirdly beautiful time of year when everyone takes a second to remember what they’re thankful for. That’s the beautiful part. The weird part is when we all chuckle to each other, “Why don’t we do this every day?!” 

And then it becomes our New Year’s Resolution to be more thankful. And then life happens. 

Anybody? (Insert hand raising emoji) 

Being thankful is one of God’s natural therapies to the stress of life. 

King David is famous for starting out his musings with the lowest groans of pain or suffering, lament or disgust and then wildly turning them into a song of praise and thanksgiving. 

It’s like the human part of him acknowledges the (crap emoji) of life, but then allows the Spirit part of him to take over. 

Have mercy on me and be gracious to me, O Lord;
See how I am afflicted by those who hate me,
You who lift me up from the gates of death, 
That I may tell aloud all Your praises,
That in the gates of the daughter of Zion (Jerusalem)
I may rejoice in Your salvation and Your help.

(Psalm 9:13-14)

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me? 
How long must I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart day after day?
How long will my enemy exalt himself and triumph over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Give light (life) to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
But I have trusted and relied on and been confident in Your lovingkindness and faithfulness;
My heart shall rejoice and delight in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

(Psalm 13)

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again--my Savior and my God!

(Psalm 43:5)

King David must have been such an interesting person to be around. So conflicted, yet so free. So toiled, yet so surrendered. So intensely focused on his reality, yet even more aware of what was to come. 

There’s so much we can learn about ourselves through this man. But even more so, there’s so much we can know about God through him. 

God is patient in our weakness. 

God is long-suffering in our confliction.

God is present in our storms.

God is active in our battles.

God is rest in the midst of our strife.

God is ever loving at our worst. 

God is ever loving at our best. 

God doesn’t move, when our world does. 

I see why David wrote so often about thanksgiving. It wasn’t a once a year thing for him; it was every single day. 

It’s therapy. It’s necessary. It’s life giving and sustaining. 

I’m ready for a little more therapy in my life, how about you? 


Challenge:

Grab a piece of paper, set a 10 minute timer, and write as many things as you can that remind you what you're thankful.

You might be surprised at your ending list. 

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Dear Worship Leader, Look Around

Dear Worship Leader, look around. Who might your worship be fighting for this weekend?

Every Tuesday night, during rehearsal our team has a Huddle. We briefly talk through the setlist and make any notes and changes before we do a full run through of the service. Then, we spend the majority of the time in culture creation. 

Usually one of our worship leaders or pastors will do a quick word on what they're learning about the Lord and then we break off into groups to pray over each other. 

This particular week, we felt an urgency in the atmosphere to fight a battle in prayer. It was a very specific battle and we all walked into that night feeling it. 

A couple girls were so overwhelmed in vocal rehearsal that we just scratched the technicalities all together and worshipped. Acapella. 

Instead of praying over each other in circles, this night, we prayed over our church family. Every row. Every chair. We prayed and worshipped over their battles, whatever they may be.

We prayed for healing and wholeness.
For courage and fierceness.
We prayed for provision and strength.
We prayed for defense and dedication.
We asked the Holy Spirit to give us names and faces to see and hear as we sought His face on their behalf. 

So when Sunday finally comes, when we look up, look around, we trust that the faces we see and the people we hug might have won some battles this week. Not because of us, but because the war is won in community. It's won in prayer. It's won in surrender. 

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural)places. Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]."

Ephesians 6:12-13

"They all joined together constantly in prayer..."

Acts 1:14 

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