“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
As you have seen throughout this series of blogs, gratitude is a big deal in the kingdom of God & a prevalent theme found in scripture. Gratitude is incredibly powerful – so, today we are going to talk about how to use gratitude as a weapon!!! Ephesians 6:10-17 tells us about the spiritual battle that we fight as the enemy comes against us. This passage gives instructions on how to ‘put on the armor of God’ – and while it does not specifically cite gratitude, this passage highlights the reality that we are equipped, as children of God, with a variety of weapons to fight back when the enemy lies to us, tries to steal from us & discourage us. This ‘armor’ is essentially the tools that God has given us to live free & abundant in the midst of spiritual attack, struggle and hardship.
However, a weapon is only a weapon if it is used. A sword that is not being wielded by someone is not dangerous. It cannot wage war. If we do not engage with gratitude, if we let it remain an idea of faith rather than an action, it cannot be a weapon. So, the first step is to pick it up is to choose to be thankful. To choose gratitude when we are happy & joyful – when everything is going well & in our favor, when we are at our mountaintop. And to choose it when we are discouraged, when our circumstances are too hard to handle, when we are down, when we feel hopeless, when we are in the valley. Every single time you say thank you to God, you are fighting back, you are waging war against the ways that the enemy is trying to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).
When we choose gratitude, we are saying that we know who God is & trust that he is moving. When we say thank you, our focus shifts from what God ‘isn’t doing’ or what we lack to what God is doing & all that He has given us. This is incredibly powerful – to say thank you in all circumstances is your greatest weapon against discouragement. Gratitude enables us to live the life God has called us to live regardless of our circumstances, gratitude opens the door to abundant life continually, it creates joy, peace and perseverance. Gratitude enables us to enjoy the life, the people, the purpose that God has given us fully & freely.
a practical step
So, how can this look, practically? Here are a few thoughts:
1. In the morning, before you even get out of bed or look at your phone, tell God 5 things you are grateful for. Start your day in a posture of gratitude.
2. When something hard happens, pause & ask God what you can thank him for. Remember the ways you are grateful so that you protect yourself from spiraling into bitterness because of what you are experiencing. Gratitude & mourning can & should coexist.
3. Tell other people that you are thankful for them & why. This type of choosing gratitude wages war on other’s behalf – when you thank them, you are fighting for them to remember & be affirmed in who God created them to be.
Jesus - Thank you for dying so that I could be set free and live an abundant life. Show me how to use gratitude as a weapon, how to be thankful in all circumstances and how to choose gratitude every day! Thank you for _________!!!! (Just spend the rest of your prayer time intentionally thanking him)