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“I’m down and discouraged. How can I praise the Lord? Why should I give Him praise?”
Psalms 100. Even doctors have found out that thankfulness improves relationships and creates contentment. Thankfulness helps you remain healthy. Being thankful will cultivate humility. Thankfulness is contagious and produces a positive attitude inside of you. Thankfulness promotes generosity and increases your likability.
Being thankful displays God’s character inside of you.
Being thankful keeps our hearts toward God. When we are ungrateful, it keeps us from seeing God as He is. Our hearts would become bitter and our relationship with God and others would suffer. We would start to worship less, pray less, and read the Bible less when we are ungrateful. This is very dangerous in that we start to think that we have achieved everything on our own. Pretty soon we would forget about all the good things God has done for us.
Being thankful will allow us to see all the mercy and love God has shown towards us.
You may not have everything you want in your life, but God has given you so much. Take some time and reflect on all the blessings and goodness He has bestowed upon your life. Do you realize that there are things that you have that other people are praying for?
James 1:17. Colossians 3:15.
If you are going through a hard time, if you are struggling and the devil is telling you that you have nothing to be thankful for, I’m giving you the opportunity to reach into three worlds and find something to be thankful for.
The first world is the past. The second world is your present, right now. The third world is the world we haven’t touched or seen yet, the future.
Let’s look back into the past for a moment.
You ought to be thankful for the opportunity to get saved. I don’t know all that you’ve been through in your life, but God has kept you this far. Jesus loves you so much that He came looking for you! If you aren’t saved and the Lord is drawing you closer to Him, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. 1.877.226.4088. We want to pray with you and help you grow closer to the Lord.
But if you are saved, reach back a little further into the past and be thankful for the shedding of God’s blood for you. Isaiah 53:4-5. You have something to be thankful for! Jesus loved you when you were in a mess, while you were a sinner, and while you were in the depths of hopelessness! Romans 5:8.
Reach back into your past and thank God for keeping you! Thank Him for stories you don’t talk about where He has brought you through and miracles that others don’t know about. You could have given up, but God got to you first. Somehow when it looked like you couldn’t go any further God kept you and you’re still here! Hallelujah!
Now, let’s look at the present.
Take a second and thank God for what He is doing right now. You’re breathing right now. If you are reading this, you can see. You’ve got a sound mind, food on your table, and peace in your heart.
2 Corinthians 6:2. Thank God! Someone could get saved today! Someone could get a new beginning today.
Too often in life, our minds want to dwell on the negative, what we are missing, where we’ve gone wrong, and how far we are from our goals. It may not be a good season right now, but you are in a good place because you are in God’s hand. Stand up and refuse to let your circumstance control your thankfulness towards God! It really moves God when your world is shaking and you’re still thankful.
Depression can’t hang around when you are thankful. Victory returns when you are thankful. Peace takes over when you are thankful! Yes, you may be facing storms, but we aren’t in Heaven yet. Don’t be just a survivor. Be an overcomer. Walk in victory and peace and put the storm under your feet. Tell the devil you will be thankful to the Almighty and you will exalt the Lord!
Jesus has never given up on you. Take a moment and thank Him for loving you.
Let’s look into the future.
Thank God for what He is going to do. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the government or the grocery stores, but I do know that we are in the hands of the Good Shepherd and we will not go hungry. Things are hard right now, but you will not have a breakdown, you can rest and trust in the Lord. He will take care of your family and make a way for you. He did not bring you this far to let you go. He didn’t start a work in you to throw you away. He’s the Creator and Provider. Shake your fear off today and be thankful for what God is going to do for you! Philippians 4:13. Blessings are coming your way, Friend!
Another thing to be thankful for is that Jesus is coming back for us!
Acts 1:11. You won’t always be laughed at, cursed, and mocked. You won’t always have to fight devils. Jesus is literally going to return! Romans 8:28. 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
When our born-again loved ones who have passed on rise when Jesus comes back, they will not have the problems they had while here on this earth. They won’t have the pain or the heartache. They won’t have to face any storms. They won’t have a body that will get sick. They will have a glorified body.
Praise the Lord, the grave is not our final abode! You have something to look forward to! Whatever you are going through right now, break out in praise and thankfulness! The grave has no victory over you! Death has no sting!
Take a moment and give God some praise. Ask Him for an anointing of thankfulness to fall on you. We have so much to thank God for. You have friends and family who care about you. Your name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Your sins are forgiven and your transgressions have been blotted out.
Come to the Lord today and just thank him for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do.
— Pastor Anthony Wynn
Psalms 139.1-8. I have wrestled with verse 8 for a long time.
Just because I make my bed doesn’t mean that I’ll get in it right away. So, in that last verse God is saying, “If you make your bed in Hell, I’m going to be there, trying to pull you out before you get in it.”
Hell is a real place.
Some don’t think about it. Some refuse to talk about it, but that doesn’t make it fiction. Hell is very real. 2 Samuel 22:6. Notice the ‘s’ at the end of “sorrows.” Some people think the heat will be the only sorrow there, but no. There will be no peace there, no mercy, no hope, and there will be no end to the sorrows. There will be no friends in Hell. Hell will be eternal torment for all those who go there.
Job 11:8. Hell is a place for the unrepented wicked. Psalms 9:17. Psalms 55:15.
I believe there will be different levels.
Heaven won’t be the same for everyone. It won’t be the same for the thief who repented on the cross as it will be for Apostal Paul. It won’t be the same for someone who just got saved as it will be for someone who’s laid up treasures upon treasures. Heaven will have different levels for the thirty-fold, the sixty-fold, and the hundred-fold.
That being said, I think that Hell has levels, too. I don’t believe that a kind, gentle, caring neighbor who doesn’t care for Jesus will be at the same level as Adolf Hitler. Psalms 86:13.
Proverbs 7:24-27. Proverbs 9:17-18. A person can sneak around and hide sin that they’ve been doing, but it won’t be hidden for long. We will spend eternity somewhere. A person cannot live a double life and get away with it. Isaiah 5:14. Isaiah 28:15. God sees just as good in the dark as He does in the light. People will not get away with trying to hide their sins.
Matthew 10:28. There is no person big enough or powerful enough to send you to Hell. No person has your soul in their hand. They cannot prophesy you into Hell. God is just and full of mercy and love. Your soul is in His hand and not someone else’s.
Luke 16:23. Revelation 20:13.
“…If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”
You have to have sheets on your bed. Do you know what sheets are? Sheets are things you get dirty and wash once or twice a week. I’m not being mean, but some people have been in church for years upon years. A person like that shouldn’t be in the altar every week repenting of the same sin. How far could they be with God right now if they didn’t spend the last 100 times at the altar asking for forgiveness for the same thing?
King Saul’s life became a pattern: sin and repent, sin and repent. God has a lot of mercy, but I’m afraid in this last day that He’s going to draw some lines. There’s a story in the Bible where Paul was preaching, and a man fell out the window and died. Why did he fall? Because he was more outside the window than inside the building. Can I ask you a question? How far are you outside the window right now? Are you holding onto the world more than you are holding onto Jesus? If something happened and you fell, would you fall forward on your knees and pray through or would you fall back into your old habits and addictions?
I’m asking you, if you have anything you keep falling back into, to bring it to the altar one final time. Ask God to cleanse you and sanctify you. You should not want to go back to the way it was before you got saved. That life almost destroyed you. Run to God! His way will keep you and give you eternal life.
The next thing on the bed is a coversheet or a blanket. This is what keeps you warm.
Acts 17:30. Acts 3:19. Luke 13:5. When life gets tough, what do you turn to? When it’s a cold night, nobody’s watching, and you’re all by yourself, what do you turn to? I pray it’s God that you turn to!
The next thing after the blanket is a pretty spread that hides everything.
Some people have a pretty spread, praising the Lord and trying to make it seem like everything is right between them and God. But God sees under that spread and is watching them trying to run from Him.
Before God will cut Samson off, He’ll allow an anointing to fall over him so that he can carry the gates of a city up a hill. Sometimes we may wonder why God anoints people who aren’t living right. Could it be that God has drawn a line for that person and He’s about to let them go, but He’s trying to pull them away from that line by giving them a taste of the anointing?
Proverbs 8:13. Ecclesiastes 12:14. When you confess your sin before God, it is no longer a secret sin. 1 John 1:9.
There are two different pillows on the bed.
First, there’s the pillow you lay your head on. Where do you lay your head when you are tired? It wasn’t wrong for Samson to get tired, but it was wrong for him to lay his head in Delilah’s lap. Matthew 11:28. Jesus will give you rest and peace.
Then there are the other pillows. These are the pillows ladies use for decoration on the bed. You know you are getting in trouble when you are trying to make your sin look good. You know you’re heading down the wrong road when you try to justify your sin. If you make your bed in Hell, Jesus is standing there watching, asking for you to let Him help you.
Only you, the Lord, and the devil really know what’s under all those pretty pillows. Psalms 69:5. 1 Samuel 15:24,35. Saul was called by God to be king, but Saul played with his calling. He threw his walk with God away. Please don’t trade a moment of pleasure for your precious soul!
If we leave God, it won’t change Him. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But if we leave Him, it will change everything about us. He is our Provider, our Healer, our Protector, and our Way Maker. He can go on without us, be we can never go on without Him. James 4:8.
I’m going to get really personal for a moment. If you die right now, where will you spend eternity? Do you know that you know that you are ready to meet God? Is there anything between you and the Lord?
He’s watching you. He’s watching me. Jesus wants to help us and keep us right with Him. Let’s pray for the Lord to search our hearts and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
— Pastor Anthony Wynn
I want to talk to you a little bit about the book of Esther.
King Ahasuerus in the book of Esther is a representation of Christ. So, the story starts out with a feast and the king wants to show off his beautiful bride. Queen Vashti is a representation of the Jewish people. He sent for her, but she wouldn’t come. Why? Well, she probably thought she had too much planning to do. Too many organizations needed to be taken care of. She was too busy working in Ahasuerus’ kingdom to spend time with him. She was too busy trying to fulfill her obligation as a bride that she didn’t have time to be a bride. This is a representation of Jesus coming to His own and His own receiving Him not.
So, King Ahasuerus held a meeting about what he was going to do about his queen. He wanted to do something worse than beheading her or torturing her. They decided upon banishing her from the king’s presence and she would never hear his voice again. There is something worse than death and it’s knowing that the Lord will never speak to you again and you will never come into His presence again.
Thank God for old-fashioned Holy Ghost conviction!
When you go back to the kingdom now, there is a bride missing. So, the king put out a decree for all the young virgins of the land to be brought forth. But before they brought them into the presence of the king, the girls were to be dealt with for a while. The Holy Ghost will deal with you for a long time and prepare you for a visitation from Heaven.
So, they bring in all these young ladies. There are a lot of wealthy and well-known people. There was a little lady who was a representation of the Gentiles, and her name was Esther. She had some things against her. 1: She was an orphan. 2: She was a Jew.
Each of the ladies brought in was assigned a teacher. We are given the Holy Ghost. The teachers were to teach the ladies what the king liked or didn’t like, what he wanted to hear or what he didn’t want to hear. They had a certain oil that they would use and it would pull out any bad smells and purify the skin. They went through six months of purification to stand for one moment before the king.
When you go into the presence of royalty, you can never be higher than them.
If they kneel, you kneel. We ought to never feel like we are better than the Lord. If we would learn the power of worship, there would be services at church where there wouldn’t have to be any preaching. The preaching is to get people to that place where God meets every need. All we need for that is the presence of the Lord. We can usher God’s presence into the church through worship, too.
So, the king was looking for someone that would love him.
They brought the young ladies in and pretty soon Esther was next in line to see the king. She started walking towards him, her past telling her that she would never be picked. Your past can say, “You’ll never preach, or get anointed. You’ll never sing or prophesy.” I want you to know that your past is no match for the blood of Jesus. Esther fought that battle in her mind, and as she walked toward that king, something in her began to relax.
She wasn’t the kind of person he would have chosen, but he looked at her and loved her. She became his queen. She moved from rags to riches. She moved up from oppression into victory, from sickness to health, and from discouragement to peace.
There’s no doubt that she found out why there was an opening for a queen.
When she heard that the other woman didn’t have time for the king, I’m totally assured that Esther made it a priority to make time for him. There should be nothing in our life more important than being available for God.
The relationship and love between the king and queen grew.
While Esther is in the presence of the king, her uncle sits in ashes at the gate of the city. He made up his mind that he would reverence no one but his king. When a certain man named Haman would walk through the streets, people had to bow to him. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, would not bow to anyone but his king.
Haman is a representation of the devil.
When Mordecai wouldn’t bow, it eat him up inside. Do you want to know why the devil gets so mad at us sometimes? It’s because he can’t stop us. There’s something in you that won’t give up. This eat at Haman so much that he was willing to spend a large percentage of his fortune to destroy a whole nationality of people. He did this all because he hated one man, Mordecai. Remember that no matter how many there are against you, Jesus is for you and has all your haters outnumbered.
So, Haman went to the king and asked for his permission to destroy the people. That king did in his throne room what God did in the Garden of Eden. Haman was given some power.
As they were making preparations to assassinate all the Jews in the land, Mordecai got word of this and started to fast and pray. One day he realized that the Lord had already set everything up. One of the people Haman was trying to kill was in the castle married to the king. So, Mordecai asked Esther to go before the king about the matter.
I believe she hesitated, not knowing what to do.
Finally, she settled on the fact that the king hadn’t sent for her. This is one of the biggest hindrances of prayer in America today. “I just don’t feel led today. I don’t feel a great stir to pray.” If we only prayed when we felt like it, how little would any of us really pray? Sometimes you have to pray when you feel like crying, when you don’t feel like living, and when all you hear is the voice of the enemy. We’ve got to keep praying.
I ask you what Mordecai asked Esther, “Who knows if you came to the kingdom for such a time as this?” God brought you into this place in 2022 for such a time as this. If Esther didn’t go to the king, her and her father’s house would not escape the massacre of the Jews. If you don’t pray for your family, who will? Esther would not only have to fight for herself, but she would also have to fight for her people as well.
Back to the story, Esther fasted for three days and even though she wasn’t called for, she was still going into the king’s presence. I believe the Lord brought to her mind the first time she came into the king’s presence. She found favor with him then, the Lord was going to allow her to find favor with him again. Take a moment and praise God for all the times you’ve found favor with Him!
Prayer has a cost.
The three days were over and she was going to the king without being asked into his presence. If he didn’t hold up his golden scepter to show his favor, then her actions would cost her life. Real, deep prayer has a cost. When you are interceding for a soul, you have to walk up to death’s door sometimes. You have to fight fear, powers, and principalities. But to make it through, you have to keep on walking.
When Esther gets to the king and he holds up the scepter, something flooded over her. All the fear and the worry had been on her mind. She’d been praying and fasting about the situation. When she looked at the king, she must have thought, “Who am I to come into the presence of such royalty with my petitions when my king deserves my praise?”
“Esther,” the king said, “Tell me what you want, even if it’s half of the kingdom. I’ll give it to you.”
All she had to do was to tell him about Haman wanting to destroy her people. We are so quick to go from praise to our needs. I’m not talking about our urgent needs; I’m talking about our daily prayer. We need to realize that we are in the presence of royalty. There’s no king like our King, no rock like our Rock. No one can heal like Jesus.
Esther looked at the king and said, “My king, all I really want is to have a banquet of praise. I’ve got great music and wonderful food lined up for you. I want two or three days to just enjoy you. Oh, and one more thing, can Haman come too?”
Esther asked the king if she could bring her problem with her.
She was going to praise the king, but the thing tormenting her mind would come too. Later, after all her praise, Haman was hanged when she told the king what he intended to do to her people.
I have a request for you. I’m not going to tell you not to pray about your needs. But if you pray about your needs for 5 minutes, praise God for 10. If you are going to tell Him about your needs for 10 minutes, worship Him for 30.
The request is just that we worship God more and ask for less from Him. If we just praise the Lord, He will silence our enemy and make a way for us in our situation. Praise the Lord!
–Pastor Anthony Wynn