SOME THOUGHTS ON THANKSGIVING, PRAISE AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD- BY BROTHER MICAH ARMSTRONG

It is interesting that David prayed three times a day (Psalm 55:17) but praised God seven times a day (Psalm 119:164).

In Matthew 21:16 Jesus used the word “praise” for “strength” when He quoted Psalm 8:2.

Praise unto God could definitely be considered a synonym for strength and brings the strength of God as God both inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3) and we enter into His presence with thanksgiving and praise (Psalm 100:4).

Praise unto God both brings down God’s holy presence as well as brings us into God’s holy presence (Psalm 22:3, Psalm 100:4).

The Bible states the “joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) and it is only “in His presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).

Praise and thanksgiving bring down and bring us into God’s presence where there is fullness of joy which is our strength.

If you are without thankfulness, and praise then you are without the presence of God, without the joy of the Lord and without strength.

How could a believer be strengthened with all might according to His glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with JOYFULNESS (Colossians 1:11) without being thankful and praiseful?

You can be thankful, praiseful, and joyful or you can be bitter, critical, and full of self pity but you cannot be both at the same time.

It’s either or, one or the other.

In Psalm 92:1-2 we are shown that it is by being thankful and praiseful that keeps the lamps of our spirits burning with fresh oil (Psalm 92:10).

David said God would light His candle (Psalm 18:28) and the Spirit of man is the candle of the Lord (Proverbs 20:27).

Our God is a consuming fire and He wants us to be burning bright for Him but there must be fresh oil to keep the lamps (spirits, hearts) burning (Luke 12:34-36, Exodus 30:7-8, Leviticus 6:13, Leviticus 24:2).

Praise unto God is indeed the “oil of joy for mourning” and “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3).

We are told to give thanks for all things (Ephesians 5:20), to give thanks in everything and it is the will of God to do so (1 Thessalonians 5:18), to offer the sacrifice of praise continually that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name (Hebrews 13:15), etc.

It is a commandment. It glorifies God. It magnifies God.

God is stirred up with a shout (Psalm 47:5) and when God arises His enemies are scattered (Psalm 68:1).

Praise is described as a weapon against the enemies of God, the enemies of our soul, and the enemies of the work of God (Psalm 149).

Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds.

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand;

Paul and Silas prayed and SANG PRAISES UNTO GOD (Acts 16:25-26) and the presence and power of God came down so strong it shook the jail with an earthquake to brake all the chains, the foundations of the prison were shaken and all the doors were opened and everyone’s bands were loosed.

Jesus thanked the Father for hearing and answering His prayer before there was any visible answer to His prayer (John 11:40-42).

Abraham grew strong in FAITH by GIVING GLORY TO GOD for His promise (Romans 4:19-22) BEFORE he saw any visible fulfillment of that promise.

We are established in the faith and abound in the faith with THANKSGIVING (Colossians 2:7).

We are commanded to add thanksgivings to all of our prayers and supplications (Phillipians 4:6).

Thanking and praising God for the answer to your prayer after you have prayed and met the conditions before you have any visible, tangible answer to your prayer is acting in faith (Mark 11:24, 1 John 5:14-15).

These truths are probably not emphasized enough but in any case they are probably far more emphasized than applied and practiced.

You can’t be a victim and full of self pity and be thankful, praiseful and joyful at the same time.

You can’t be bitter, critical, cantankerous, and jealous and be thankful, praiseful and joyful at the same time.

You can’t be weak, discouraged, and depressed and be thankful, praiseful and joyful at the same time.

If you are bitter, cantankerous, critical, envious, feel sorry for yourself, consider yourself a victim, then you have become unthankful, ungrateful, you do not spend enough or anytime praising and thanking God, you have no joy, and you are without God’s presence.

You have gotten your eyes on what you don’t have, what God hasn’t done while ignoring and failing to be thankful for everything He already has ever done for you.

Even diligent prayer and fasting can become drudgery without remaining praiseful and thankful because any spiritual endeavor or labor done without God’s presence is useless and fruitless (John 15:5).

To be thankless and praiseless is to be without the presence and Spirit of God.

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