Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 11/24/21

I Will Thank: A Study on the “I Wills” of the Psalms

Gratefulness when activated leads to thankfulness. ~Kathy Carlton Willis

STORY:  Turning My Upside-Down Life Right-Side-Up!

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I want to acknowledge that there are so many of us who are enduring circumstances that hinder feeling thankful. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be grateful. People ask me how in the world I can keep grinning despite all the trials that have turned my life upside down. Maybe it’s because God has given me the ability to see life right-side-up.

My right-side-up perspective goes a bit like this:

  1. A stinky situation hits and threatens to derail me.
  2. I’m not too happy about it!
  3. I switch my focus from the problem to the Peace Speaker.
  4. With a fresh infusion of peace in my heart, joy bubbles up.
  5. Joy overrides my other thoughts and feelings so I can see blessings.
  6. As I recognize God’s presence, my perspective changes.
  7. This leads to an immense amount of gratitude.
  8. Gratefulness when activated leads to thankfulness.

The entire thanksgiving process starts and ends with God, but we get to be participants and not merely spectators. How will you activate your thanksgiving today?

STUDY: Why We Thank the Lord

I will thank the Lord because he is just; I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High. (Psalm 7:17 NLT)
  • Why would you want to thank the Lord for his justness?
  • One way to thank God is to sing praises to him. What song would you pick to sing praises to the name of the Lord Most High?
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever! (Psalm 30:11-12 NLT)
  • Recall a time when God turned your mourning into joy.
  • How does recalling that make you want to sing praises?
  • Has there ever been a time when you silenced your thanksgiving rather than vocalizing it? What caused you to be quiet? In the future, what would cause you to turn up the volume when thanking God?
  • Forever is not too long to give thanks to God!
Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly. I will praise you before all the people. (Psalm 35:18 NLT)
  • Are you introverted or do you have stage fright? If so, this “I will” statement might scare you a bit!
  • What gathering of people provides you an opportunity to share about God’s blessing, so you can thank him publicly?
  • When you are around certain people, do your praises of God go into hiding?
I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. (Psalm 57:9)
  • This psalm also mentioned the opportunity of thanking God in front of others.
  • What is your action plan for giving God praises so others can hear about what he has done in your life?
But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising him to everyone. (Psalm 109:30 NLT)
  • Do you have someone in your life who repeats stories, even though you’ve heard them before? It gets old, doesn’t it? But do you know that the Lord never tires of you giving repeated thanks to him?
  • Sometimes our words praise God, and sometimes, when the time isn’t right for actual words, we can praise God with our lives.
Praise the Lord! I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. (Psalm 111:1 NLT)
  • What are some ways you can praise the Lord?
  • How do you differentiate between praise and thanks?
  • One opportunity to thank God is when we are gathered with others in our faith family. They will be blessed to hear about God at work in your life and it will encourage them to have faith that God will take care of them, as well.
Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the Lord. (Psalm 118:19 NLT)
  • Look for a way and a place to thank the Lord.
  • Finish this statement regarding your determination to thank the Lord, “I will...”
As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! (Psalm 119:7 NLT)
  • Look at this specific way of showing thanks to God. What is it?
  • What helps you to know how to do this?

STEPS: Intentionally Giving Thanks

I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods. (Psalm 138:1 NLT)

  1. Be intentional with your thanksgiving, by having your own “I will” statement.
  2. Don’t hold back with your thanksgiving—be all in—with your whole heart.
  3. Pick a song that represents your thankfulness and be in the moment as you focus on the lyrics.

Copyright © 2021 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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