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When I started writing this article, the world was focused on the war between Israel and Palestine, over the occupied Gaza strip. Aside from how awful and devastating war is, the news headlines don't capture the hopelessness, despair or anxiety that we feel when events like this happen. But ever since the war began, I've felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to stay thankful – to God, His faithfulness, and His promises. It's almost like gratitude is the cure for the fear that comes from stressful, worrying times.

Giving thanks is such a huge part of our faith, as Christians. I like to think of gratitude (along with faith and hope) as the fuel God's given us to keep us going on this long journey. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 is a great motivator for me. It tells us to "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (NIV). What an uplifting command! And it makes some great points we should remember.

The amazing part about this command is that the apostle Paul wrote it. Paul is arguably the most persecuted of the early Christ-followers. We constantly see him writing letters to the early churches, either from prison or telling stories of being persecuted in the towns he visited. There must be something powerful about praising God, despite our circumstances or what society says.

God's will for us is to be sustained, in Christ, through praise and thanksgiving.

David, in Psalm 150, beautifully illustrates how we should praise Him and what for:

“Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise him in His mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre. Praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord”. (NIV)

When I look back on my life, in moments of joy or sorrow, the Holy Spirit reminds me that each one is a chance to grow closer to God. In times of sorrow, praising God reassures my soul that He is near and still on His throne. I'm thankful that even in difficult times, He reigns in mighty heaven.

In moments of joy, I'm reminded that God delights in us as his daughters. He's a better Father than any earthly dad, because his gifts are always good, and they bring no sorrow. I'm grateful that He is faithful to his word and promises.

I love how the psalm ends: "Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!" It's incredible to me because praising God is what we were made for, whether we do it willingly or not. As Philippians 2:10-11 says, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to God's glory.

Our Father, our daily bread

It always astonishes me how shifting my focus to gratitude gives me a whole new perspective. Taking time to see God's goodness to me reminds me how blessed I am to be adopted into His family. Sometimes it's hard to be thankful, especially in difficult circumstances. But despite the chaos in this world, we can thank God for His unfailing love and control over everything.

As Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV) says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

We can thank Him for the big and little joys in each day – for our health, families, friends, jobs, freedoms, churches, and so much more. Most of all, we can thank God for the incredible gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Paul, in the letter to the Ephesians, tells us that, “…it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (2:8; NIV). There is no greater gift than the forgiveness and restoration we receive through Christ. Everything else pales in comparison. Remembering this will help us maintain an attitude of gratitude each day.

To God, we are the pleasing aroma of Christ

As Christian women, having thankful hearts brings us closer to God and helps us be a ministering light to others.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NIV) encourages us that we are the pleasing aroma of Christ to those being saved: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."

I am certain that we all experience moments of triumph or trial at some point in our lives: life, death, joy, sorrow, times of strength and times of weakness. But praise God that He is consistent through them all! He is the anchor for our souls, and He gives us assurance of His presence and His promises. If we are facing the hum drum of life, or moments of incredible happiness, or maybe facing the after-effects of wars and uncertainty – the finished work of the cross and the promises God has made since the beginning of time are something worth praising!

With Thanksgiving


Women of Reverence welcomes Miche Kahl as our guest contributor.

Miche is a a 27 year old daughter of God situated in the West Rand of Gauteng. She is a wife to Ivan and involved in various aspects of ministry at her local church, Cornerstone Church West. She is a product research analyst for a Christian organisation whose mission is to equip the church with material to bring people to a relationship with Jesus.

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