Every believer can be a Thanksgiver, a Praiser and a Rejoicer. As you renew your mind to God’s positive Word and say what the Word says, you can manifest these phases of the believer’s life. Search the Word with me and discover the power of vocal expression that can be operating in your life.
Be a Thanksgiver
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18). Williams’ translation is, “Make it a habit to thank God for everything”. This is a clear command in the Word for you to be a Thanksgiver. As a Thanksgiver, you “give thanks” for benefits received. God’s will is so clearly stated here that no element of doubt can remain.
In Ephesians 5:20 this aspect of the believer’s confession is clarified further: “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here we are instructed to give thanks “always”, “every day”, “to God the Father”, for He has given life to us in all its reality and abundance.
In Colossians, the same truth is re-affirmed. “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12). Phillips translates it, “… to share the lot of those who are living in the light”. And again in Colossians 2:7, “Rooted and [being] built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Strengthening ourselves in the faith we have been taught is one thing that most believers neglect, for they always want to discover some “new” truth. However, the Word says to be strengthened in that which you have already been taught and to be overflowing with thankfulness. Let’s thank God for truth; let’s thank God for teachers of truth.
Colossians 3:15 says, “… And be thankful”. Williams translates it, “And practice being thankful”. To be thankful is to be full of thanks; to be a real Thanksgiver. Work at it; put in the daily practice necessary to become a “champion” Thanksgiver. Verse 17 likewise instructs, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Mark these powerful verses in your Bible, and make a quality commitment to be a Thanksgiver!
As a Thanksgiver, you give thanks for benefits received. You give thanks because you have already received help or a gift. We were taught to do this from an early age in our social life, and we should do this from an early stage in our spiritual life. In fact, this is probably the kinder-garten of Christian experience — thanking God for what He has done for us. This is a good place to start and a good practice to continue, but I believe there is a higher stage of expression that brings even greater joy to the heart of our Father, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Be a Praiser
The Word also instructs us to be a Praiser. In the giving of praise the attention is focused not so much upon the gifts received, but upon the Giver Himself. You can give praise even when you have not received a gift. How wonderful it is when someone comes up to you and say, “My, you’re a wonderful person. I wish I knew more people like you.” By their statement they have become a Praiser on a horizontal level. In the same way, how much greater is God’s joy when we thank Him for what He is, not just for what He has done! This is being a Praiser on a vertical level.
In Psalm 145:3 we read, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” God is greatly to be praised because He is great. That is, He is to be praised for what He is — a great, big, wonderful God!
Here are some more commands to be a Praiser: “Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” (Psalm 146:1,2). “Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” (Psalm 147:1). Read all of Psalms 148, 149 and 150.
The disciples knew what it was to be Praisers, for we read in Luke 24:52-53, following the ascension of Christ, “Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” The Christians in the early church excelled in being Praisers, for Acts 2:47 tells us they were “praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.” When the lame man was healed at the gate of the temple, “He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God… all the people saw him walking and praising God” (Acts 3:8-9).
Even when Paul and Silas were arrested and put into prison with their feet fast in the stocks, we read, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). The King James Version says they “sang praises to God”. Yes, the early Christians knew the power of being a Praiser!
As someone has said, we should be Praisers before we get into trouble, when we are in trouble, and when we get out of trouble. This, of course, simply means we should be Praisers all the time. Remember, then, that as a Thanksgiver you give thanks for benefits received, and as a Praiser you focus attention upon the Giver Himself, that is, God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave…” (John 3:16).
Be a Rejoicer
Let us take this positive expression of the renewed mind one step further. The believer has a wonderful opportunity to be a Rejoicer, as well as a Thanksgiver and a Praiser.
Paul instructs us in Philippians 3:1, “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!” To rejoice is to have a repeated experience of joy, to experience joy and gladness to a high degree. As you live over again in your mind some great blessing that brought tremendous joy to you originally, you can experience that joy again, and thus rejoice. In Philippians 3:3 Paul says he is a believer who does “rejoice in Christ Jesus”, rejoicing in all the accomplishments of the victorious Christ. One thing is for sure, we can always go back in our minds to the moment we became a Christian, and recapture the thrill of knowing that we are members of God’s forever family.
In Acts 5:41, the apostles had just received a beating and had been ordered not to speak in the authority of the name of Jesus. “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” Later in the Book of Acts, the Ethiopian eunuch had experienced joy as Philip taught the greatness of God’s positive Word to him, and the eunuch became a believer. Philip could not stay with him long, for God had other work for him to do. Acts 8:39 states, “… the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, and he [the eunuch] went on his way rejoicing.” He experienced repeated joy as he kept reading the Word that Philip had opened up to him.
To remember the great experiences of joy in your life and to re-live the thrill of them, is to be a Rejoicer.
How tremendous it would be for every believer to be a Thanksgiver, a Praiser and a Rejoicer! This positive confession of the renewed mind is one of the great keys to power in the believer’s life. Right now, take your place as a Thankful, Praising and Rejoicing child of God. — Peter Wade.