As we embrace the season of thanksgiving, a time devoted to gratitude and thankfulness, it beckons us to reflect and take inventory of the blessings and victories in our life. Kathy and I have always had a great value for remembering the goodness of God and we have countless testimonies of miraculous provision, impossible healings and breakthroughs under our belt! We have also overcome great obstacles in the pursuit of God’s presence and power.
Personally, this past year has carried us into circumstances that demand greater faith and reliance on the Lord. As a senior leader of Bethel Church, I find myself aligning my faith with prophetic words, to “Arise and Build”, as Kathy and I partner with our church family to fund a $100 million building project. Amidst the vast sea of impossibility, the inclination to retreat often surfaces, urging a nostalgic glance back to simpler times. Yet, as I turn back, I observe a path, adorned with memorial stones that herald my history with the Lord—a trail of faith and courage, prompting me to face the unknown once more.
BUILDING A MEMORIAL TO THE LORD
In Joshua 3, a captivating narrative unfolds as the Lord guides the Israelites from the desert into the promised land through the Jordan River. After 40 years in the wilderness, Joshua receives a divine command to prepare the people to cross. He specifically instructs the Levites to carry the ark of the covenant into the river and as the priests step into the water, God intervenes, halting the upstream flow, allowing the entire nation of Israel to cross on foot.
Following this miraculous event, the Lord instructs them to gather 12 large stones from the middle of the river, setting them up on the Jordan's edge. "These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."
Why did the Lord instruct them to build a memorial of stone?
I propose that God foresaw the giants the Israelites would face in their promised land. He knew they might be tempted to turn back and these memorial stones would serve as a perpetual reminder of God's nature and faithfulness to them, offering strength and courage to confront what lay ahead.
FROM FINANCIAL CRISIS TO FAITHFUL PROVISION
After two decades of building businesses and weathering payrolls, navigating ruthless competitors, and entrepreneurial challenges, I found myself acclaimed as one of the top entrepreneurs in my field. After receiving an invitation into full time ministry, the Lord led us to sell our businesses which should have sustained our ministry for years to come. We took the step of faith, however, when the dust settled and the moving vans departed, I sat amidst the remnants of a once-thriving enterprise with a $1.8 million debt as a memorial to Kathy and I’s hard work—our house and most of our possessions gone.
Yet, through a series of seemingly impossible God-circumstances, our debts were either paid off or forgiven within 3 years!
In the place of the rubble, a memorial of God’s provision stood tall. Now, when faced with financial challenges, Kathy and I look back, trusting that if He provided before, He will do it again!
THE BENEFITS OF THANKSGIVING
Whatever circumstance you are facing, trust that God has made a way, and thanksgiving is a key that unlocks doors for divine intervention! Here are 7 attributes of Thanksgiving for you to feast on:
Thanksgiving is the gateway to deliverance and the corridor to Heaven.
Thanksgiving is the inoculation for bitterness and the armor for anxiety.
Thanksgiving is the antidote for arrogance, trading pride for purity.
Thanksgiving is the platform for promotion and the catalyst for community—a gate to favor, amplifying the fruits of our labor.
Thanksgiving is the secret to success and the magic of maturity. It lifts you when you fall and ensures that angels linger.
Thanksgiving is more than a meal, it invites God’s zeal!
Thanksgiving for who God is amid our trials is sometimes the only way out of our current challenges.
THANKSGIVING'S DIVINE INVITATION
As Thanksgiving approaches, take a moment amidst the hustle and bustle to reflect on the memorials you have built with the Lord. Let them nourish your faith and increase endurance for your present reality and future promises!
Let me encourage you, if you are struggling to see a moment worthy of memorial in your life, remember that the greatest memorial you have is meeting Jesus, the one who died for your sins and through whom you can have access to and perfect relationship with God the Father. In every season, this is something you can be thankful for, a timeless foundation that grounds your gratitude and inspires a continual posture of thanksgiving.
What are you thankful for this season? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let's build a community of gratitude together!