Steven Furtick - Learning To Thank God In Every Season
I have carefully selected the finest cut of Scripture for you today for this post-Thanksgiving meal, this feast. We're going to feast on his faithfulness, church. In Deuteronomy, chapter 8, there is a Scripture that has often drawn my attention back to all God has done for me and helps me keep my perspective in the craziness of life. How many know we're in a special season in our church? We're intentional about leaving seasons and entering seasons in this church, just believing, you know, we'd better leave this here in a place of great expectation (thank you, Charles Dickens…Great Expectations) and also with great gratitude.
This Scripture today (actually I have several Scriptures, but the one I want to serve before you as our first course) is going to help us with that mindset where Moses says in Deuteronomy 8, verse 7, "For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig [Newton] trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey [Nut Cheerios]…" I modernized the text a little bit. Stay with me. "…a land where bread will not be scarce…" Touch somebody. Say, "I want to go here". I want to go here! "…a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills".
He didn't say the copper would be on top of the hills at the surface level. He said if you're willing to dig in, you can find what you need in this season. We're ready to dig into the Word today. Now comes the caution. "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down…" That's the problem with some of us. We've settled down. We used to be enthusiastic about God's grace, but we start taking him for granted when we get settled. I don't want to settle. I don't want to settle! I don't want to settle just because God has satisfied me. I want to stay hungry.
Touch somebody. Say, "Stay hungry". Stay hungry! If you forget God you're going to settle down and forget the one who brought you here. Verse 13: "…and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today".
Are you ready for my subject? You can't handle my subject. My title alone is going to bless you today, so if you need to leave after the title, you'll already be blessed just from the title. I want to talk about Graduating in Gratitude. Graduating in gratitude, going to another level. Touch your neighbor and say, "Your next level is one praise away". Find somebody else. Find somebody else. I don't know if that person believed you. You might need to find another neighbor. You have several. Turn to somebody else who looks like they have more faith and say, "Your next level is one praise away". Come on. Can we give him one more praise? Thank you, Jesus.
Amen! Graduating in Gratitude. Please be seated. Thank you, worship team. God bless you. Thank you to all of our campuses that are joined up, all of the people who came out of their carbohydrate coma to honor the Lord this weekend. You know, it's amazing. You guys look thinner after Thanksgiving. Turn to your neighbor and say, "I believe you lost weight over Thanksgiving. Your jawline looks strong". Graduating in Gratitude. I watch some interesting stuff on YouTube. I just want to get that out there. I'll go on kicks. A couple of years ago, I went on a kick where I watched commencement speeches at Stanford and Harvard and other different little colleges.
I watched a commencement address from Steve Jobs, which was pretty cool. He talked about how failure in his life was actually the thing that freed him from his fears so he could succeed. That was cool. I watched one by David Foster Wallace, the novelist. His was funnier. He was really witty, talking about the everyday, mundane life you live after graduation, and if you don't prepare for that it can catch you off guard, because life is not just like a party. He was preparing these graduates for that reality. I watched one from Oprah. Hers was amazing. I think she is always interesting to listen to. She is very real.
So her just walking through how she became Oprah and what that looked like to me was fascinating. I've heard it before, but just something about who she was addressing, these people who are going into the next stage of their life… They're moving from one level to another level. To hear the words they choose to use in transition to me is very interesting in that season where you have so many questions and so many hopes and so many dreams. I think it's cool how God put a commencement speech in the Bible from Moses, you know, the valedictorian of the prophets. He saw God face-to-face. God said, "Other prophets have I spoken to, but Moses I speak with face-to-face".
That's cool because it means Moses had an experience with God that he could pass to the people. That's what a commencement speech, I guess, is all about. It's a bunch of people who aren't paying attention, because they really just want to throw their cap and go get drunk, listening to someone tell them kind of what's next. "Give me some keys to figure out where I'm going and what I'm doing". In a sense, we're watching a graduation ceremony for the Israelites. They still have some battles ahead of them before they enter the Promised Land, but Moses is telling them, "It's about to happen. You're about to flip the tassel. But before you go there, make up your mind that when you get there, you won't forget who brought you".
He must know they have a tendency because he led them for 40 years through the wilderness (millions of people), a tendency to kind of as God provides for them let their preferences cause them to miss God's provision. If they didn't like the way the food tasted or the schedule on which the food came, they were very quick to complain under Moses' leadership. He says to them, "You're going to a better place. Your best is before you". On one hand, he is prophesying the potential of the Promised Land, but he is also pointing out the proclivities of people who enter the promise to forget the Provider once they've received it.
As he does this, he goes through the kinds of things they're going to experience, and he tells them, "Be really careful, because God's gifts alone are not able to give you joy. God's gifts can only bring you joy when they are joined with your gratitude". You know, Holly and I live in the woods. We have like 19 acres of land. Although we have many trees, we didn't have firewood, because I don't know what to do to turn the trees into firewood. I don't have that equipment. I don't have that training. I'm surrounded by the raw material to heat my house, yet I had to pay someone to come over the other day and take what I had on my land and turn it into something that could heat my home.
You know, you can be surrounded by all these blessings, all these relationships, all this provision, all this goodness, all these opportunities, but if you don't know how to turn the blessing into praise, it will turn to pride in your heart, and your life will never be filled with joy, because your heart will have holes in it. Moses speaks to this. Moses speaks to this! He has come to give us a commencement address, to say, "Maybe what you need in your life isn't the next level of accomplishment or the next level of accumulation but the next level of appreciation for what you have that will set the stage for you to make the most out of what you accumulate in the future".
If you grow in gifts but don't grow in gratitude, what have you gained? If God gives it but you don't know what to do with it, it won't make you happy. Some of you if God gave you a husband right now you don't like yourself enough to unwrap the gift and appreciate it. But this isn't a marriage seminar. This is a Thanksgiving sermon. It's about how to be happy. They study more and more that the happy people are not the ones who have the best of everything but those who make the most of everything they do have. You know this. You've met people with less than you who seem to have more joy.
Brene Brown, this researcher who I like to read her books, studies a lot on the topic of wholeness, what makes a person whole. She doesn't even approach it from like a religious perspective. It's more research-based, more sociological. I like this book she wrote called The Gifts of Imperfection. She has a whole section devoted to gratitude, and I thought since, you know, many of us don't read as much as we should, we'll have a little book club time with Pastor Steven today. You can count this toward your BOOK IT! chart and get you a Personal Pan Pizza at the end of the school year. I just want to read you directly from this book the parts I highlighted, because this really spoke to me. She said when it comes to gratitude, when she was researching the word that jumped out throughout the process is practice.
Practicing gratitude. Practicing gratitude! Let me break this to you. Gratitude is not natural. Disagree with me on that, and you'll only prove you have never fed a 2-year-old. There is nothing natural about gratitude. There is nothing instinctive that makes your child appreciate the sacrifices you made to put food on the table. She said the phrase that came to her in research was practicing gratitude. She said to her, this was shocking and somewhat of a call to action.
She said, "For years, I subscribed to the notion of an 'attitude of gratitude.' I've since learned that an attitude is an orientation or a way of thinking and that 'having an attitude' doesn't always translate to a behavior. For example, it would be reasonable to say that I have a yoga attitude. The ideals and beliefs that guide my life are very in line with the ideas and beliefs that I associate with yoga". Okay? She said, "But, let me assure you, my yoga attitude and outfits don't mean jack if you put me on a yoga mat and ask me to stand on my head or strike a pose. As I'm sitting here writing this, I've never practiced yoga. …I've never put the attitude into action. It seems that gratitude without practice may be a little like faith without works, it's not alive".
We don't so much want to know, "Do you have a grateful heart"? but, "Do you have grateful habits"? Your joy is not produced by what's in your heart. It's produced by your habits with which you build your life. I told somebody one time… They said, "You know my heart". You know, they were explaining why they never say appreciative things out loud. "You know my heart". My silent answer was, "No, I don't. I'm not a freaking cardiologist". That's what I was thinking. The Bible teaches something very powerful, and it's very simple. It says, "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…"
Touch your neighbor. Say, "Say so". If you think I'm doing well, say so. That's why I can't stand when y'all are quiet during my sermon. I work hard on this mess to turn it into a message, and if you think I'm preaching, you ought to shout. You ought to holler at me. You ought to let me know, "This is all right. This is hitting the spot. This is better than Crockpot macaroni". Come on, somebody. I'm having Thanksgiving flashbacks. Say so. Say so! Do you like my outfit? Say so. Say so! It's very basic, you know? This is the most basic level of gratitude. Moses is saying, "Hey, make sure when God blesses you, you say the blessing". That's my first point. This is our first level. This is the foundation of real gratitude and perhaps real faith.
Say the blessing. Say the blessing! I think there's power in teaching your kids how to act at the table if you can. At least try to teach them how to act at the table if you can. At our table at the house, we have like a family blessing we say. Meal times at our house are chaotic. Abbey always gets threatened to get sent to her room because of what she is not eating. Elijah and Graham are always fighting over something with each other relative to portion size. We do one thing right. I think we do this right. I wrote us a family blessing. Holly said, "Babe, you know, you can't cook, so maybe your contribution to our culinary experience is you could write a family blessing we can sing around the table".
I didn't make my own music. This music is borrowed, but I did write the words to this. Would you like to hear the Furtick family blessing? I'm not going to do it if you don't want it. All right. This is proprietary stuff, people. Okay? This is family stuff at our kitchen table, so you have to kind of play along with this to get the sense of it. We bang on the table, establish the beat. There you go. Don't speed it up too much. Keep the rhythm. White people, I know it's hard for you. Keep the rhythm, but just lock it right there. Here's our blessing: "Thank you, Lord, for all you've done, for this food, and for Christ your Son, amen. Let's eat some food, and thank you, Mommy". That's the blessing.
Do you like that? All right. Come on. Try it with me. Here we go. When they're ready to eat, they just start pounding on the table like inmates. "Thank… Thank… Thank… Thank… Thank… Thank… Thank… Thank… Thank you, Lord, for all you've done, for this food, and for Christ your Son, amen. Let's eat some food, and thank you, Mommy". That's the blessing. Moses said, "When you eat, say the blessing". I love my mom. My mom is in this worship experience, so I want to be really careful how I say this. She raised me right, but she had one dumb rule, unbiblical rule. She taught me, "Never sing at the table". I guess I was prone to make all kinds of noises at the table. I understand the heart behind it that we wanted to eat in peace, but Moses said (not what Mom said), "You'd better learn to sing at the table".
That is, while God is blessing you, while God is pouring out provision for you, you ought not just sit there and act like you earned it or act like you deserved it. I can't understand why some people come to church and cross their arms the whole time. When God brings you to the table and feeds you his faithfulness, when God brings you to the table and feeds you his Word… I feel Keith Green. "How can you be so dead, when you've been so well fed"? You'd better say something. If this food is good, open up your mouth and sing. The principle lies in verse 10. He said, "When you…" Watch. I'm going to teach y'all really quickly.
"When you have eaten…" This is after you get the blessing. This is basic. This is basic! This is the kiddie table of Christianity, and most people never even make it here. God gives them 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and they won't even return 2 to God to come to church and thank him. Not you, the people who are watching online. You're good. Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! You're good this week. "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God…" See, it's almost like training a child, because the Israelites are just coming to know God as their provider. Moses has to teach, "…praise the LORD your God for…" This food. "…for the good land he has given you". For the…. For the…
You'd better praise him. This is the basics of praise. For the… This is where it starts. This is what you're trying to teach your kids to do. "Thank you, Mommy, for the food. I enjoyed it". "Thank you, God, for the use of my limbs. That's helpful". "Thank you, God, for my eyesight". Just whatever you can think of. Let's do some more for the's because it's good to practice. This is a basic level. Thank you for the nose on my face. Thank you for the clothes on my back. Thank you for the roof over my head. Thank you, Lord, for the wife who encourages me from the front row. Thank you for the undefeated Carolina Panthers. Thank you for the way they embarrassed the Dallas Cowboys. Thank you for the undefeated Clemson Tigers. Thank you for the way they shut down the Gamecocks.
Thank you for the running water that came out of my sink like magic when I went to turn it on today. Thank you for the people in my life who believed in me, who haven't given up. Thank you for the crazy family you let me have, all the dysfunction and everything. It's just teaching me and developing me. Thank you for the air conditioned/heated building. Whatever I need it to be, I can make it feel comfortable. Thank you for the freedom to worship in a place where I'm not persecuted. Thank you for the brothers and sisters sitting all around me, helping me praise God. Thank you for the grace you gave me when I failed this week. Thank you for the prayers you answer. Thank you for the ways you make. Thank you for… Thank you! Thank you, Lord! For the… For the…
Turn around and tell somebody one thing you're thankful for. Tell them, "I thank God for the…" For the money to pay my rent. For the money to pay my mortgage. For the sunshine. I thank him for the fall. I thank him for the winter. I thank him for the holiday season. I thank him for the Starbucks I could afford this week. I thank him for… I thank him for the… I thank him for the provision. That's what Moses is teaching at the kiddie table. "Thank you for the…" For the… For the… Perhaps happiness is not about accumulation as much as it is about appreciation. But this world doesn't market appreciation to us. You can't even get through Thanksgiving before they're filling your newspaper with pictures of crap you don't need that you have to buy the next day.
The worst Thanksgiving our family has ever had was a few Thanksgivings ago when some demon brought a newspaper in my house with the sale papers for Black Friday on Thanksgiving Thursday. It made me so mad to see my kids circling stuff. Can we not just have one day? Just one day? Do you know what I had a vision of in my mind? "I'm going to hire a professional photographer to come to the house and take a picture of all the crap I bought you last Christmas and put it in a book like a catalog, and you can circle what you already have and say, 'Thank you! Thank you, Dad!'" God wants to know can we not just have one day, one season…? "Do you always need me to do something else"?
See, God is gracious. God is more gracious than the utility company, because the utility company makes sure that every month you appreciate them. If you fail to show appreciation, they'll stop providing power. They'll give you a chance to rectify and remedy the situation. It will be a little invitation you'll get in the mail, an invitation to appreciate their faithfulness. It will say something at the top like, "Past due". Oh, God told me to tell somebody in the back, "Your praise is past due. Your praise is past due". Maybe that's why there's been no power in your life lately, because there hasn't been any praise. God said, "I can't get the power to your life because you won't release some praise".
You want power? Then give him a praise. Give him a praise! Clap those hands! Is your praise past due? Are you walking in blessings that used to be your prayer requests, and you haven't even stopped to circle them and say, "Thank you, Lord"? For the… For the… Moses said, "Thank him for the good land. Thank him". When you tithe, you say, "Thanks". When you bring an offering at the end of the year, you're saying, "Thanks". When you graduate from just an attitude of gratitude to a way of life that is grateful, you say, "Thank you, Lord". Yet to really graduate from the kiddie table… I don't know about you, but I don't want to sit in this seat the rest of my life. I don't want to be the kind of Christian who only thanks God when he is serving me. I don't want to be a grown man talking about… This is the table called thanks where I thank him for his provision, but to graduate…
Touch somebody. Say, "It's time to graduate. It's time to graduate. It's time to graduate". To graduate, we need David, because Moses was teaching the people to relate to God on the provision level. David was a little bit different because of his experience. He was raised up as a shepherd in Jesse's house to be king anointed by Samuel. He had a remarkable ability to remember where he came from. It always made him thankful and made him grateful. Even though his life was very dysfunctional, he was driven by a sense of returning to God who had given all the blessings to him. David comes in to give us a deeper understanding of mature gratitude. It's not mature gratitude to thank God for what he has given you. That's just manners. That's just good manners. That's just politeness.
David comes along and says, "I want to move you from the kiddie table to the banquet table". David, who was not only a subject of the king but a king of the people, had spent some time as a shepherd. While Moses is teaching the people to relate to God on the most basic level, "When he blesses you, remember him. When he blesses you, obey him. When he keeps his covenant with you, keep his commands that it may go well with you," this is basic. David steps in and takes it a little bit deeper. Let's go deeper. David says, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters". Have you heard this before? Maybe you heard it at a funeral. Maybe you heard it in a time of mourning.
David wrote it in a valley, yet he says something interesting in Psalm 23. This takes us to the next level of praise. Psalm 23, verse 4. He says, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me". Moses teaches us how to thank God for the, but David comes along and teaches us how to thank God even though. Even though… Even though… This is a graduated form of gratitude. This is the remedial level. "Thank you for the…" But this is the place where you learn to praise God even though. Even though… This is where you could have all hell breaking loose in one area of your life but say, "It is well with my soul. When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, you have taught me to say it is well…"
Even though my heart is broken, it is well. Even though I lost some people, it is well. Even though I'm going through… It is well. Even though… Even though… This is the table where you learn to thank God for what you can see, but this is the table where you learn to trust God with what you cannot. "Even though I walk through the darkest valley…" Now, church, it's one thing for Professor Moses to tell us, "Thank God for the good land". But now we have to decide what kind of Christians we want to be. Are we only going to thank him for the food? Are we only going to thank him for the finances? Are we only going to thank him for the fiancée? Or are we going to thank him, "Even though I'm single"? Where do you want to sit? Am I only going to thank him when I can see the evidence of his presence?
Even though recognizes his presence in the presence of enemies. This is the stage of praise where you're no longer thanking God for his provision only. Oh, you carry that over. You're still grateful for the provision. That's a starting place, but now I'm thanking him for his presence. You're going to need this. If you want to be a big boy and you don't want to be a baby, you're going to have to sit in this seat and learn to eat with enemies all around you. Can you keep your eyes fixed on the presence of God in the presence of your enemies? Because at this table, David said, "God isn't the only one seated. I have enemies all around me". Verse 5: "You prepare a table before me…"
In the presence of my insecurity. In the presence of my deficits. In the presence of my addictions. In the presence of my confusion. In the presence of what I've lost. In the presence of the threat that I won't make it. "…in the presence of my enemies". I'm looking straight ahead. Would you do me a favor? Would you touch the person next to you and say, "Set the table"? Because when you learn to have a heart of praise in the presence of enemies, you set the table. That's what David said, right? "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies". If you can walk with God in darkness enough depending on the light he showed you in the last season, you'll learn to read your enemies as a sign that it's time to eat.
David said, "God made my enemies serve me my entrée. God made the things that conspire to take me out feed me for the place he was bringing me into. I got a seat at the table. I'm a big boy. I can handle trouble. I can handle tests. I can handle it". I'm sitting down in the middle of all kinds of nonsense, but I have my eyes fixed on the presence of the One who is within me. Greater is he that is in me. Wouldn't it be great if you could turn the tables on your fear today and make the thing that was coming after you serve the purpose of God in your life? David said, "You can do it. You can do it". If you can eat in the presence of enemies, if you can be blessed under the weight of burdens, if you don't always need me to bring it up to the table and set it before you, but if you can set…
See, when I praise God through pain… Everybody shout, "Even though"! No, no. Shout it like you want the Devil to hear. Even though! "Even though you came at me, I'm still standing. Even though you set an ambush against me, I'm still sitting at the table". When you praise him in pain, it is preparation for provision. If you can keep your seat and don't come back over here whining, "I don't like kale…" Grow up. Grow up! Grow up! God has been good to you. Grow up! He knows the plans he has for you. Grow up! Shove your neighbor. Say, "Grow up! Grow up, man". This ain't no Easy Mac message. This is Crockpot Christianity. It might take a little while, but it's going to be good. That's good. That's good, but we need one more commencement speaker so we can graduate at the top of the class. This next level is a level I am not sure I have ever lived out, but I would like to. I would like to be able to live here. I've done the kiddie table thing.
"Thank you, Lord. You're so good to me. Thank you for the sunshine". Do you know what? I've even praised him in the rain in the face of criticism and some adversity and some setbacks. I've sat at this table, and I've said, "Even though…" "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him". Even though… I did that. I did for the. I did even though. But to really graduate, I don't think we can do it in a banquet hall. We have to learn how to praise off of prison food. Paul takes the stage and says, "Graduates at the church of Philippi…" He was writing a little letter from a prison cell in Rome. In the prison cell, they were trying to stir up trouble. They were trying to see if they could get him killed, get him executed. He was writing about his feelings about that and how he was responding to it. He said he wanted the church to know there were some people (verse 17) who were preaching Christ out of selfish ambition.
Watch this. "…not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains". He said, "There are some people in here who are trying to stir up trouble for me while I'm in chains. There are some things in my life that are stirring up trouble for me. There are even some people who I trusted and some situations I'm going through, and it's getting hot in here". He said (verse 18), "But what does it matter"? This is a whole different level. This is like PhD stuff right here. Okay, Moses got us through kindergarten. David made sure we got our GED. Now Paul comes along to say, "This is the terminal degree of faith". He said, "I have some priorities, and I know my purpose". Watch this. "The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And…" Here's the third level. "…because of…"
Do you need me to point at it with the laser? Would that help you? I'm going to show you this. This is when you meet somebody who went through something that would have caused you to give up, and they're not even praising God in spite of it. They found the purpose God worked out of it. I've never been here before. I haven't gotten here yet. I'm doing good to be at the even though table. But I am asking God that I could have a concrete enough sense of his purpose in my life that I could not only praise him when he feeds me for the food he brought me and not only praise him even though I'm going through something. But could I get enough faith to praise him because of? Because of… Because of this. Because of…what? Not because of the pain. I don't praise him for the pain. I praise him for what the pain is producing.
Do you remember? Elijah and I heard a woman talking the other day. She said, "You have to thank God for all things". Elijah turned to me and said, "The Bible doesn't say that. It says thank him in all things". He is 10 years old, preaching with better theology than the Reformers, preaching with better theology than John Wesley and John Calvin. It wasn't because of the experience of pain. It was because of the increase of purpose that the pain provided. That's why I praise him. That's why I praise him! Because of what he is doing, that's why I rejoice. I praise him because of his purpose. I praise him. This is maturity. This is grown-folk faith. This is where you've graduated past the need to be served a dish. This is when you trust the cook enough to give praise in the kitchen.
Stir the pot. Stir the pot! Stir the pot. When you praise God for what he has given you, that's great. You thank him for provision. You've said your blessing. Good job. You're 5. When you praise God in spite of what the Enemy is doing to you, that's pretty mature. You're going to make it through the valley. But if you want to have a PhD in faith, you can't just praise God in spite of it. You actually have to look at the thing you're going through and say, "Do you know what? I've eaten at the table of the Lord long enough to know that he knows what he's doing in my life". When Holly and I first got married and I walked into the kitchen and she was cooking something, I wanted to know all about it. You know, "Are you putting that in there"? I hadn't tasted enough of her food to trust her process. We've been married 13 years now, and she can cook. She has been through the experimental phase, and she has been through the phase of trying this and trying that.
Now she can be trusted. When I walk in her kitchen now, I don't ask any questions. I just start stirring whatever she put on the stove. Y'all aren't getting this. Y'all aren't getting this in the back. You're not getting this, University City. They're not getting this. God said, "I want you to get to the place where you can praise me in the kitchen, because you know whatever I serve up is going to be good. It's going to be good"! Come on. High-five seven people. Tell them, "It's going to be good". It's going to be good! Stir it up. Stir it up. "I can take the heat, so I came into your kitchen today, God, to give you praise for whatever you're cooking up in my life. I want to thank you for every ingredient you allow in my life, because I know that you know the plans you have for me".
If it didn't serve God's purpose, he wouldn't let it get in your pot. "We know that all things work…" I like preaching to people who know how to stir themselves up. It's not everybody, but in some people, you don't even have to stir them up because they are stirred by purpose. They are stirred by purpose. I walk in sometimes, and Holly says, "Taste this. Taste this. Taste this". See, I'm smart. I won't say anything about how it tastes right now, because it's not done. It's not done. She is just showing me she's working on it. "O taste and see that the LORD is good…" Now I'll walk in the kitchen, and I don't even ask what's in the pot, because I trust the cook. I'm not a little baby over here, drooling on my bib and drinking from my bottle. I don't even just want to set the table and wait for God's blessing to come.
Paul said, "I continue to rejoice. I continue". You don't have to feel grateful to be grateful. I don't eat the garlic. If I eat the garlic before it gets stirred into the marinara, that's a disaster. Some of y'all, you're tasting the bitterness. "I don't like that, God. Did you hear what they said about me"? No. I didn't say all things were good. I said all things… God is up to something in your life. He is a master chef. He knows what he is doing. Stir it up. Stir it up. Stir it up! Stir your expectation. Stir it up. Stir your guilt. Stir it up. Stir it up. Stir it up! "Stir it up". You don't know Bob Marley. "Stir it up". He was on to something. Bob Marley was a prophet when he said, "Stir it up". Turn to your neighbor. Tell them, "Stir it up". Tell them again. Say, "Stir it up".