Acknowledge Jesus’ Presence By Giving Thanks
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
THERE ARE CHRISTIANS who know in theory that Jesus is with them, but they do not actively practice His presence. For me personally, one of the best ways to practice the presence of the Lord is to thank Him all the time. You can give thanks to Him for everything. Just say, “Lord, I thank You for this beautiful sunset. I thank You for Your love and for surrounding me with good things and good friends.”
What you appreciate appreciates in value in your eyes.
There is no limit to what you can thank Him for since every good and perfect gift that we enjoy today comes directly from Him (James 1:17). Even if you have had a rough day at work and you are facing a seemingly impossible challenge, you can practice His presence. The moment you realize that your heart is heavy with worry and your mind is plagued by anxiety, share your challenge with Jesus and thank Him that this problem is not bigger than His hands. Begin to surrender it to Him and depend on Him for His strength, power and peace.
As you do that, you are already practicing the presence of the Lord. And as you honor His presence and behave like He is indeed with you, He sees it as faith in Him and intervenes on your behalf for your success in whatever situation you may be in.
It is sad when Christians behave like some husbands who bring their wives to a party, only to ignore them completely. Their wives could be right there with them physically, but these guys are so engaged with their own friends, talking about the stock market, economy or latest game on television, that their wives might as well not be with them.
Ladies, do you know men like that? Now, men who are reading this book, I know you are not like that, so don’t get offended, all right? I know you cherish and love your wife. What I am trying to illustrate is that just because someone is with you physically, it does not mean that the person feels appreciated by you. Appreciation only occurs when you start acknowledging the presence of that person.
What I like to do is to look at Wendy across a room crowded with people, and when our eyes connect across the room, it is as if the rest of the people fade instantly into oblivion, and only Wendy remains. I want her to know that I appreciate her for coming along with me to that dinner event or meeting. I am not claiming that I am sensitive to Wendy all the time, but there are moments when I do want to make it a point to make her feel special. She is special to me, but to actually appreciate her and to make her feel special is something else all together. Like all husbands, I'm still growing in this aspect.
Now, what does the word “appreciate” mean? It means “to increase in value.” If you appreciate someone, the person increases in value in your eyes. My friend, the Lord is already with you, so start to practice His presence. Begin by thanking Him, appreciating Him and increasing His value in your eyes, and you will see Him acting on your behalf.
Lord Jesus, I acknowledge Your presence and give You thanks for the many blessings that You have showered upon me. Thank You for surrounding me with good things and good friends. Thank You for the breathtaking sunrise and the birds that sang beautifully this morning. Thank You especially for always being with me in every situation and for being my wisdom, strength and success.
I will give thanks to the Lord. That’s how I can acknowledge His presence and appreciate Him.