One of my favorite ministries is Foundation of Praise. It was birthed in the late Merlin Carothers’ soul by God’s wonderful design. God taught Merlin through some tough, personal experiences how important and beneficial it is to lift up praise and thanksgiving to God for all things. Yes, for all things not only in all things. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) After being discharged from the army, Merlin gave back to God by studying for the ministry and re-enlisting as an Army Chaplin. Multitudes of lives are still being changed. Merlin’s writings teach people to thank God for each big or little, seemingly good or bad thing that He allows into their lives rather than praying for years for change that often never seems to manifest. Merline learned that sincere praise releases a dynamic of God’s power into a situation that brings about supernatural changes.
Hard? Undeniably! Mentioning only a few instances from a myriad of choices, consider the father who was requested to thank God for his daughter being institutionalized for months with hopeless insanity. Ask the family members who were inspired, after listening to Merlin speak, to thank God for their father’s 30 year alcoholism problem. Ask the parents of the wayward child who was squandering his life away in all the wrong places criticizing those who loved the Lord.
Rewarding? Undeniably! Ask that same father who risked thanking God for his daughter’s situation and then rejoiced as he picked her up from the mental institution in her right mind two weeks later. Ask the family members who finally thanked God for their father’s alcoholism and shortly thereafter witnessed him walk away from liquor to never look back. Ask the parents who thanked God for the circumstances of their child’s life then not too long afterwards saw him return home, reconcile with the family, and sincerely ask Jesus to forgive his sins.
You’re skeptical, right? Do you believe God knows what’s best for you? Do you believe He loves you and really does work things out for your good? Do you believe He wants to use you to further His Kingdom in ways unique to only you? If you’re unsure about these foundational truths, take the time and make the effort to learn more about your awesome Heavenly Father. (See: The Father’s Love Letter) Pray. Read His word. Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you. (James 4:8 a) He is worthy of your trust. You can rest peacefully in the security of His love and commitment to you. (Hebrews 13:5)
When God’s children praise and thank Him for all things, we radiate the uniqueness of Kingdom living that God has called us to in 1 Peter 2:9. God’s grace enables us to choose to praise and thank Him for all things thereby opening doors that “God uses to work miracles,” says Merlin. Complainers just radiate more useless noise in the din of humanity.
Where do you fall on the “Thankfulness” scale? If you find you need to raise your score, I recommend a couple of Merlin’s many, easy-read books, “Prison to Praise” (exciting details of his progression to salvation and thanksgiving) and “Power in Praise” (moving stories of people who risked praising God for all things). Both will inspire and ignite a desire within you to praise and thank God more.
Be sure to post your results of thanking God for all things. I’ll check back and also post mine.