Recently I read about how 25 percent of all U.S. women suffer from some form of depression, and that more than 12 million women will suffer some form of clinical depression in their lifetime.
There is an epidemic of pessimism, anxiety and hopelessness that has erupted in the United States and beyond. This is par for the course for any sociological system that is not built upon being thankful to our Creator. Romans 1:21 teaches that being unthankful is the cornerstone sin of all other sins, with a trajectory that leads to covetousness, worshipping creatures more than God, all sexual sins including homosexuality, and pride, gossip and all kinds of malice that eventually lead to full-scale rebellion against God (Romans 1:21-33)!
In essence, praising God is good (Psalm 92:1) not just because it makes us feel closer to God, but because it is perhaps the most countercultural thing we can do to show our resistance against Satan's kingdom, which is steeped in insurrection against the Lordship of Christ and the mandate of the kingdom of God. By living lives that are worshipful, we show that we do not depend on circumstances, people, materialism or the pleasures of this world in order to be satisfied. This is the antithesis of the kingdom of darkness that is built upon pride, lust, and greed (1 John 2:15-17).
In regards to kingdom culture, my greatest difficulty is adapting my mind to continually practice praise and thanksgiving towards God. This involves intentionally engaging my mind, not only my spirit, in ordering my thoughts in a manner that pleases God (Philippians 4:8). Seventy percent of all that we think and do is unconscious. Thus we are all acting out our lives based on mostly negative thoughts that are embedded in our souls. It is important for us to break out of this mental bondage if we are going to enter the promised land of our soul and destiny, or else we will wind up like the children of Israel who didn't praise and honor God, which resulted in unbelief and wandering in the desert for 40 years (Numbers 13).
The following are some negative consequences of living unthankful lives:
We will not be able to see the divine opportunities in front of us
God has already provided for all of our needs (Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3-4). Praise takes the veil off our eyes and turns on the switch of faith and insight that enables us to see all the hidden opportunities that are masked by problems and challenging circumstances.
We will focus on the actions of people instead of the processes of God
When we are unthankful we magnify the actions, activities and circumstances produced by other people for or against us, and weigh our lives based on their responses, which inadvertently saps our faith in God!
When we are God-focused we see the providential activity of God behind every circumstance, even as Joseph did when the word of the Lord tested him when his brothers sold him as a slave in Egypt. He told his brothers, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good" (Genesis 50:20).
We will worship pleasant circumstances rather than be satisfied with God alone
When we are constantly complaining, then we as believers are in essence saying that God is not enough to satisfy us. This is unlike David who said that the Lord was His portion, cup and inheritance (Psalm 16).
Because Paul the apostle lived a life of rejoicing and praise, he was not a victim of outside circumstances and he did not allow the actions of others to control his attitude. This enabled him to worship God even while bound in chains and stocks in a Philippian jail (Acts 16).
We will give place to the devil who operates in lust, greed and pride
Satan's original sin was pride, which led to him not being thankful for his place as a covering cherub (Isaiah 14:12-14). This led him to covet the throne of God which eventuated in him being thrown out of heaven.
Since the beginning of the world Satan has been the father of all greed, covetousness and complaining. We give place to him in our hearts when we are not grateful for the things God has already given us.
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