Thankfulness is one of the overriding principles of God’s Word. Remember, a scriptural principle is a lesson that, when it is applied to your life, will produce very powerful and fulfilling results from the hand of God. God’s Word is full of examples and verses supporting the principle of being thankful. However, there is something about this principle that is very different from the natural way that we are accustomed to thinking. We are familiar with giving God thanks for all the good things and all the enjoyable things we have in life. Of course, there is certainly nothing wrong with that…we should thank God for all His benefits and blessings.

In his 103rd Psalm, the Psalmist says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits”.

The apostle James joins that theme and says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights”. We ought to be thankful for the wonderful blessings of God! However, that is only the surface level of being thankful, but that’s where many Christians dock their boat and remain. There is a rich and deep truth that God’s Word teaches that brings great fulfillment and abundant peace, and it is being thankful not only for the things that are comfortable and the things that feel good, but also being thankful for things that you would not have ordered and things that are inconvenient and even painful.

In a small European village, a man approaches the rabbi and complains, “Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?”  The rabbi tells him, “Take your goat into the room with you.” The man is shocked and puzzled, but the rabbi insists, “Do as I say and come back in a week.” A week later the man comes back looking more distraught than before. “We cannot stand it,” he tells the rabbi. “The goat is filthy.” The rabbi then tells him, “Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week.” In one week, a radiant man returns to the rabbi, and joyfully proclaims, “Rabbi, life is so beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there's no goat, only the nine of us.”

Our focus should not be on what we don't have, but we should be thankful for what we do have.

At first, they were unthankful for having 9 people living in one room. But after they had a goat in the room with them for a week, they become thankful for just 9 people living in one room.

What we have really isn’t as bad as what it could be! That’s the revelation we need to get in our walk with God. I should thank God for everything in my life and for everything in my life I should give Him my praise!

When you look at Psalm 22 you find a different beginning to the Psalm than you find at the end. We read at the end of the Psalm, verses like…

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him:

27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations.

When you read those verses, you would lean toward believing that this guy is being showered with comfort and blessings from God and anybody could be thankful if they had what he had and was experiencing what he was experiencing. But when you read the first twenty-one verses, you see quite a different picture. Those verses give us the prophetic description of Jesus on the cross.

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

6 I am scorned by men and despised by all the people.

7 All who see me mock me. They hurl insults, shaking their heads.

14 I am poured out like water. All my bones are out of joint.

15 My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.

18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

Those first twenty-one verses of Psalm 22 are words of tragedy and struggle. Yet the chapter ends with words of thankfulness and praise. We're too often willing to sing the songs of thankfulness when things are going our way.

            We thank Him when we prosper.

            We thank Him when we’re happy.

            We thank Him when we feel well.

Then, when things are not going our way…

            When we experience shortage and loss,

            When sadness and sorrow are present,

            When our feelings are attacked by circumstances in our life,

Thankfulness seems to disappear. We choose one or the other: the good or the bad, the happy or the sad, thankfulness or curses.

But Psalm 22 keeps both together! It keeps the first twenty-one verses of trouble with the last ten verses of praise and thanksgiving. It pulls the two together!

In life, the only way you can pull both trouble and thankfulness together is if you are tied into something deeper and more powerful than yourself.

Thankfulness arises out of knowledge in your heart, that “I can be thankful for the twenty-one verses of trouble because I know they are all a part of my life and my life is in His hands!”

That is why only a child of God has the capacity for being truly thankful.

The devil says to God, “Job serves you because you give him everything he wants. If you'd take everything away from him, he'd curse you.” God allows the things to be taken away and the enemy gets a surprise ending to the story. When everything is gone, including his health, Job cries out like David, “My God, why did you forsake me?” But he doesn't stop there. In the middle of his tragedy Job says, “I will find delight in the Almighty; I will call upon God at all times” (Job 22).

Thankfulness is what undergirded the faith of Job and the faith of David. Only the grateful believe, and faith itself, which seems to soar in times of prosperity, needs the strength of thankfulness to carry it through the dark nights of life.



  • 2022 General Conference

In my opinion, our recent General Conference held in Orlando, Florida was one of the best I can remember. Unity soared to a new height. Attendance was one of the best. The move of the Spirit was unprecedented. The spirit of giving visited each service with a Global Missions offering over two million dollars without even the slightest promotion. We have more licensed ministers and more churches than ever before. More souls are being reached around the world! I am thankful to be a part of the United Pentecostal Church International.

  • Mission Louisiana Training

Our presbyters, section secretaries, as well as directors and staff members of numerous campaign committees met at the campgrounds to begin planning the upcoming unveiling and promotions of “Mission Louisiana”, our building and renovation program. There was great excitement expressed as we discussed the needs of a New Boy’s Dorm as well as a New Tabernacle along with more cafeteria space. Even though our District Board has voted to move forward with the process of gathering information, preliminary building plans, and site work estimates as well as campaign preparation, the building of a New Boy’s Dorm and a New Tabernacle will be brought before our District Conference voting body in March of 2023. That will be an historic conference for the Louisiana District. The section conferences will be utilized to share information so you are well-informed before any decisions are made. All Louisiana licensed ministers should make every effort to attend the conference in their section.