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Watch 2022 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - Seasons of Thanksgiving

Matt Hagee - Seasons of Thanksgiving

Matt Hagee - Seasons of Thanksgiving
Matt Hagee - Seasons of Thanksgiving
TOPICS: Thanksgiving, Seasons of Life

What is it about the most powerful principles in life? What is it about those simple statements that have the ability to change everything in your dynamic? Why is it that whenever you hear them, they are much easier said than done? Have you ever heard something, you say, "That's good advice". And then you go out and try. You try and accomplish it and it's a lot more difficult than you thought. For example, practice what you preach. Have you ever heard that? I mean it sounds easy, "Practice what you preach". "Yes, I try to be that kind of a person". Wonderful. Be kind to others. You haven't met all the others. If you can't say anything nice... Don't say anything at all. Ah, y'all heard that one too.

Well Paul, in Thessalonians, tells the church three things that are much easier said than done. Verse 16, he starts with, "Rejoice always". Say that with me. "Rejoice always". Now look at somebody to your right or left, and say it like you need them to do it. Rejoice always. Some of you looked and got joyful. Some of you look like, "Make me". When you rejoice, you're giving God praise. And when you praise, you are doing what needs to be done to overcome whatever circumstance you're in. You've heard that statement: that you just have to work your problems out. Well when you are a Bible-believing Christian, you have to praise your problems out. It's not a matter of rejoice when you feel like it.

The Bible says, "Rejoice always". David said in Psalm 34, "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth". That meant that no matter what was going on in David's life, he was going to find a reason to give God praise, because he understood that that was the purpose for which he was created. You and I were created so that we could praise the Lord. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God honors complaints or that he likes the presence of whiners. But it does say that he inhabits the praises of his people. So rejoice always. Rejoice on the days when everything is going right, because it's God, who made a way where there seemed to be no way. Rejoice on the days when everything is going wrong, because God is faithful.

And he, who began a good work in you, will complete it. Rejoice when you get to the mountaintop, because it was God that gave you the strength to climb. And rejoice when you're down in the valley, because he said he would never leave you, nor would he forsake you. It's easier said than done, church, but it's still something that will change your life. "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I say, rejoice". The next thing that Paul tells the church to do, he says, "Pray without ceasing". Say that with me. "Pray without ceasing". Now some people want to make this a lot more complicated than what it really is. "Well I just don't know that I can pray 24 hours of the day, seven days a week". No, you can't. What Paul is saying is not to pray one long prayer that never ends.

What he's saying is to make prayer such a habit-forming part of your life that you do it so consistently: you can't really tell when you started the habit, and you don't know whenever you're going quit the habit. How many of you have a habit on social media? Instagram? Facebook? Twitter? Oh, how many of you have a habit of not raising your hand in church when the preacher wants it up? I mean y'all want to pretend like you're using your Bible app on your phone. I know what you're doing. Like, like. Oh, they just posted that song that Zak sang. Like. You have such a habit on social media that they put signs on the road, "Don't text and drive. Arrive alive".

I wonder if anybody's ever had a wreck while reading a sign. It's just an irony that comes through mind. The point is, is that you don't know when you started liking social media, and you don't know whenever you're going to quit liking social media. It's just something that you do without ceasing. And so when Paul says to the church, "Pray without ceasing," he's saying do it in such a way that you can't really tell if it was ever not a part of your life: it is a lifestyle. And the reason that that's powerful, and the reason that that's a principle is because prayer is how you engage in the power and the promises of God in your life. The problem with the modern American church is that we don't consider prayer the purpose and the power that it is. We consider prayer to be heaven's emergency hot-line. We only use it whenever we're in real trouble.

Some people pretend like praying is calling a late-night DJ with your total requests. How many of y'all remember those radio shows where the DJ would say, "Call me and dedicate a song"? Yes, children. There were days when you could call and dedicate songs. And some people used prayer that way. "Dear God, I'd like a promotion. I'd like a bigger house. I'd like all kinds of things. I'd like for more people to like me. I like me. And I dedicate this song and this prayer to myself. In Jesus' name. Amen". And we feel like God is on his throne playing DJ. "We send this dedication down to bexar county". That's not prayer. Prayer is not getting God in heaven to do your will. Prayer is preparing your life here on this earth to do God's will. It's, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven".

When you rejoice always and you pray without ceasing, you are engaging in life-changing principles that can absolutely shift every dynamic in your life. But probably the most powerful and one that is something that needs to be accomplished more than just on a holiday is the last thing that Paul tells the church. And that is, "In everything, give thanks". Say that with me. "In everything, give thanks". Now this sounds redundant whenever you consider that he said, "Rejoice always," but rejoice is about praising God. And giving thanks is about giving God credit for what he has done. It is showing your appreciation for who he is and what he's accomplished in your life. The world that we live in is doing all that it can to delude the idea that we should be thankful to God for anything. We're trying to control everything. We're trying to improve everything. We're trying to do everything. And in doing so, we're forgetting that we are created beings. We are the sheep of his pastures. We are the ones that he has placed on this earth.

The more we innovate with technology, the faster we start to brag about things. "Oh, have you heard about 5g and 6g"? I remember when there was no g. And you say, "Well what's the difference"? And they say, "Well it's a download speed". Really? Let me tell you how fast God downloads. You know how the speed of light, this is how fast God downloads sunshine: six hundred and seventy million, six hundred and six thousand, six hundred and twenty-nine miles an hour. That's how fast sunlight travels. That's what God Almighty considers a high speed download. Science can only explain the marvelous mysteries of life. But it is God who has created it. Medical science can sustain and prolong life, but only God can give it. Doctors can take a heart out of one man's body and transplant it into another man's body. But a doctor cannot move the heart from the location that God designed it to go. The doctor can do everything that's necessary to cause it to beat, but it's only God that sustains it.

We can sit in business rooms, and board rooms, and high-towered buildings: and we can make plans and strategies for riches, and we can do things to create business plans that create commerce and trade and industry. But the truth is, it is God that gives you the power to get wealth. God is the one who told us in Malachi, "Try me," says the Lord, "And see if I will not open up the windows of heaven and pour out upon you blessings that you cannot contain". Whenever you put your trust in God, whenever you try God, it's his hand on the window. And when you trust in him, the window goes up. And when you don't, the window goes down.

People say, "The economy's going down. The economy's doing this. And the economy, the economy, the economy". It's God who decides which area of your life the window goes up and the window goes down. I'd rather put my trust in God than the forecasts of those who are running the greatest companies on the face of the earth. Why? Because he is the one who sits on the throne. He is the one who is in charge. Everything you see in the world around you is nothing more than a magnificent display of his glory. Every bird that you hear singing, he wrote the song. Every tree with the leaves rustling in the wind, he's the force behind the breeze that makes the sound. Every morning when the sun rises, and you're reminded that his mercies have been renewed, every cloud that's shaped in the sky, every river that flows into the sea, every mountain: he holds it in his hands, and every hill, he has in the balance.

Every valley is one that he forged in the foundations of the earth. Everything you look at, everything you feel, everything you touch, it is God's glory on display! And therefore, in everything, we should give thanks. Often times, we walk out into God's creation and we're like a child, ignoring masterful works of art that are posted on the walls of museums, as we stare at the floor. "In everything, give thanks". God deserves the credit. He's the one who should be greatly praised for all the that he has done, for all that he is doing, and for all that his word promises he will do.

The Bible says over and over and over, "He deserves the glory". He deserves the glory for everything that he has created and sustained by his mighty right hand. He deserves the glory for everything that he has ever accomplished in your life. He deserves the glory for your salvation and for your redemption. He deserves the glory for the way that he has conquered powers and principalities. He deserves the glory, because he is the Creator of heaven and earth, and there is not one liken unto him. In this sanctuary today, I want you, as a child of God, to make up your mind that no matter what you're going through, no matter what you've been through, no matter what tomorrow holds: you are going to give the God, who holds tomorrow, the glory that he is worthy of, because he is great and greatly to be praised!

Because you can either be thankful or you can be arrogant, but you can't be neutral. People say, "Well I just, you know, kind of keep my thoughts and feelings to myself". Well that might be true of the people that you sit in a room with. But you cannot hide your thoughts and your feelings from God. And he knows what you're meditating on. He knows whether you're thankful or you're arrogant. And you say, "Well I don't like that word, 'arrogance'". It's not my choice of words: it's his. "In everything", say that with me, "In everything, give thanks". That word "Give" is very intentional. It means that you have to make up your mind to offer it. So when you keep it to yourself, it's arrogance, because you have done nothing without God's help.

And here's the thing: whenever you're arrogant, you are taking the glory that belongs to God for yourself. And out of all of the things that God has promised you, and out of all of the things that God is willing to share with you, there's one thing that God says, don't you touch it. And that's his glory. Isaiah 42:8, the Lord says, "My glory, I will share with no one". He is gracious in all things. God doesn't have to share his kingdom: God wants to share his kingdom. In Ephesians, we read that you have been saved by grace through faith. It is the gift of God so that no man could boast. God wanted to redeem you. He wanted to share eternity with you. He wanted to share the promise of salvation with you. He made you: he made me, through the blood of Jesus Christ, an heir and a joint heir with Jesus. He didn't have to write us into the will: he wanted us in the will. When it comes to his kingdom, not only will he share in the riches of heaven, but he'll also share in his power. You obtain power when you pray.

John 1:12, it says, "To as many as believed, to them he gave power". When you have faith in God and you pray in Jesus' name, Jesus told his disciples, "Whatsoever you ask in my name, God in heaven, he will do it". That's powerful. Whatever you bind, he'll bind. Whatever you loose, he'll loose. Whenever you speak to a mountain with a mustard seed faith, it will be moved. When you lay hands on the sick, they shall recover. When you speak to powers and principalities, they will flee. Why? Not because of you, but because of the power of God that's in you. But when it comes to God's glory, he says that one's mine alone. "My glory I will share with no one". Why? Because he alone is God.

There isn't anything that anyone on the face of this earth has that God did not give them. Your heart beat, your breath, every move that you make, every step that you take, all of them are given to you by the grace and the power and the majesty of God. Therefore, because he and he alone did it, he and he alone deserves the glory. All of the abilities that you possess, physically, the Bible says, "In him we live, in him we move, in him we have our being". Have you had a good year this year? God gave you that year. Be thankful unto him. Did your business experience record growth? God gave you the growth. He just let you participate in it.

You say, "Well no, pastor, I worked hard". I know you did, but God gave you the ability to do the work. "Well no: we made some great decisions". I know you did, but God gave you the thoughts and the wisdom to think that helped you make the decisions. "Well just the right opportunity came". I know it did, but God was the one who moved all of those pieces while you were sleeping in the middle of the night to make sure that everything was properly aligned when you got there. So if it was a good year, you say, yes, it was a good year. It was an awesome year. It was a barn-bursting year. But thank God for the year.

Did you break a record? Thank God for the record you broke. He already knows who's going to break the record you set. He's already got your replacement picked out. Let that thought comfort you. Be thankful to him. Celebrate your success. But whatever success you have, recognize that it came from God. Because you cannot escape the fact, this is what Jesus said: he said, "Apart from me, you can do nothing". And that's why God will not tolerate pride. His glory, he will share with no one. And when he sees a proud look, he turns against you.

This is what happened to Lucifer in Isaiah 14. Lucifer was the Archangel of light. Lucifer was the prettiest of all of the angels. In Lucifer's being, was every form of instrument that made music. And when Lucifer would flap his wings, all of the instruments would play, and all of the angels in heaven would be summoned to the throne of God. And all of the angels would give worship, and they would give praise to God who sat on the throne. Lucifer was the best of them all, but Lucifer forgot something. He forgot he was created. One day, he calls all of the angels in heaven to the throne of God. And he's watching them worship. And while he's watching them worship, he starts thinking to himself, you know why are they giving all of the praise to him? Why can't they give just a little bit to me? I mean they wouldn't be here if it wasn't for me. They wouldn't have any music if it wasn't for me. I mean where would God be without me?

You know anybody who thinks that way? The world's full of them. They look at what they have and they think they're God's gift. No, God has given you the gift, but you're not God's gift. Lucifer, the anointed cherub, is watching all of the angels worship God around the throne, and he thinks to himself, they should give me a portion of that. But God said, "My glory, I share with no one". Lucifer spent one too many moments staring at himself in the mirror. And one day he said, "I". That's the voice of pride, "I". "I will ascend and become like God". "I will sit upon God's throne". "I will walk on the hill of the Lord, and I will walk into the garden of God". And when God heard the thoughts of Lucifer's mind, he kicked him out of heaven, cast him to the earth. Why? Because as awesome and as marvelous as Lucifer was, he forgot this one fact: he was created.

And you and I cannot forget that. We are created. And it is he who made us and not we ourselves. Don't be ignorant and don't be arrogant of that fact. You can be thankful or you can be pitiful. There are some people, who choose to be pitiful. They're not arrogant, they're not ignorant. But rather than be thankful, they just, "Hi". You know anybody like that? How was your day? "Good. Okay. I'm just kind of blue". They've learned how to get attention with their misery. And you cannot have those kind of moments and allow them to become your identity when the Bible says, "Rejoice always, and in everything give thanks". That's not the way God created you. You're not here to relive the worst day of your life, every day of your life, from this moment forward. You're here to look back at that bad day, and say, it was on that day that God proved himself faithful. We have to be thankful in every season. And that requires a decision.

So here's how we're going to end this service today. David said, "I will bless the Lord". Say that with me. "I will bless the Lord". He said, it's my choice to bless him. It's my choice to be thankful. And I don't know what your week held in terms of situations. I don't know what you're facing next week. I don't know what season you're walking through. But I do know this: in everything, give thanks, because this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. So I want you to stand to your feet right where you are. And I want you to raise your hands and I want you to open your mouth. And I want you just to begin to be thankful. If all you can do is say, "God, I thank you for the air that I'm breathing," start there. Say:

God, I thank you, not only for the life that I have in my lungs, but I thank you for the home that I'm going to get to go live in today. I thank you for the food that is going to be prepared on the table before me. I thank you, Heavenly Father, that your word is true. I thank you, Lord, that you have always been faithful to me: that you've always made a way for me. I thank you, Lord, that you have created the heavens and the earth that are around me. I thank you, God, because all of these gifts are awesome, and they are marvelous, and they are wonderful works that you have provided. I thank you, Lord, because you are a friend that sticks closer than a brother: and that your hand is mighty to save: and that your arm is able to deliver.

I thank you, Lord, that you have healed and conquered every form of sickness and disease by the stripes that you sent on your son, and the word that you sent through your Holy Spirit. I thank you that you gave us power and authority, Heavenly Father, over sickness and disease. I thank you that you gave us power and authority over powers and principalities. I thank you that you can break generational curses, and you can lift burdens, and you can destroy yokes. I thank you that your angels have been given charge over me: and that they protect me, and they watch over me when I go out and when I come in. I thank you for how you've provided for me.

Lord, you've been so good to me. Lord, you've given me more than I can contain. I praise you, Heavenly Father, because you've redeemed me. You've given me salvation. I thank you that you've forgiven me when I didn't deserve it. I praise you because you've loved me when I was unlovable. I praise you, as you were good to me when I wasn't worth the blessing. I praise you, Heavenly Father, because you've given me a chance each and every morning when the sun rises and your mercy is renewed.

Lord, I'm thankful because your loving kindness is better than life. I'm thankful because your goodness and mercy have followed me. I'm thankful, because in seasons of sorrow, you've blessed me with joy. I'm thankful, because in hours of sickness, you've given me strength. I'm thankful, because in moments of need, you brought me provision. I'm thankful, because when I was worried and fearful, you came in with peace. I'm thankful, because in seasons of sorrow and death, you've given me everlasting life and the promise of resurrection. Lord, I have need of nothing, because you have given me all things! And therefore, I am thankful!

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