This Thanksgiving, I’m posting an essay by Watchman Nee, a Chinese evangelist, from his collected works. It is a good reminder of the importance of giving thanks – in good times and bad. From Raleigh Acupuncture, Jinmei and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Before The Victory
There are two stages to our praises and thanksgiving. One happens before the victory and the other afterward. But unfortunately, a significant error we make today is that we do not utter the praise before the success; we hold back and wait to see what happens. As a result, many brothers and sisters acknowledge that they cannot make it and will not try to make it.
They believe in God’s facts and believe that Christ is their victory. But they dare not say, “Hallelujah, I have overcome.” One brother said he had to wait and see whether it would work. Another sister said she had to wait and see whether it would produce the correct result. They said they would praise God the next day if things worked out.
But Jehoshaphat had two praises. Every overcomer should have two praises: before his eyes see the result and after his eyes see the result. This attitude is the tone of victory. As soon as we stop our praise, we are defeated and lose our victory.
Asking The Wrong Question
We ask whether or not we have overcome, but I must ask whether or not we have shouted, “Hallelujah.” “Hallelujah” is the tone of victory. If the tone is correct, the victory is genuine. We can fabricate anything, but we cannot fake the tone of victory. Every overcomer has a tone that continually rejoices and praises.
We can tell where a man comes from by his tone. We also can tell if a man has overcome by his tone. The mark of victory is the shout of “hallelujah” and “praise the Lord.” When temptation arises, the mark of victory is the ability to say, “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!” No one who looks at himself can praise the Lord. Only those who look to the Lord can praise Him. Once we look at ourselves, we will find that we are unable, and we will not be able to say, “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.”
Praise Guarantees Victory
Once we behold the Lord, we can say, “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.” It does not matter whether temptations have increased. It does not matter whether the Moabites and the Ammonites are more numerous than before. The battle is the Lord’s, not ours. The Lord is responsible for everything. Therefore, the tone of victory is in our rejoicing, praising, and Thanksgiving to the Lord.
We do not have to wait until we have failed, been defiled, and sinned before saying we are defeated. As soon as we stop our praise and Thanksgiving, we have lost our victory. We do not have to commit any great sin; as long as we do not boast in His victory and as long as we do not thank and praise, we have lost our victory.
Brothers and sisters, the overcoming life God has given sings “hallelujah” every day; it rejoices every day. But, once this mark is gone, the victory is lost.
Maintaining Victory in Joy and Rejoicing
Nehemiah 8:10 declares: “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Our joy expresses the life that God has given us. Our Lord Jesus lives in an atmosphere of joy, rejoicing, praise, and Thanksgiving. I have learned an important lesson during the past few years. In the past, I knew I was forgiven and had endured, consecrated, and obeyed the Lord. But I felt somewhat bitter, and there were some minor complaints.
I could not thank and praise the Lord. Whenever we cannot thank and praise Him, we experience defeat. Brothers and sisters, our victory is found in our joy. Whenever we throw away our joy and rejoicing, we also throw away our victory and become bound.
A brother testified that he had never realized as much as in these past few days that joy affords strength. Whenever we are not joyful and rejoicing, we are depressed. We have to maintain our victory in gladness and rejoicing. Victory is like a fish that must be kept in water. Victory has to be kept in gladness and rejoicing. We should maintain our victory in joy and rejoicing.
Rejoicing In Trials and Tribulations
But how can we rejoice? Of course, we can rejoice and praise God over many things. For example, if we have passed the gate of victory and power, we can rejoice and praise God. But the Bible says that we can also have thanksgiving during challenging times.
Second Corinthians 8:2 says, “In the midst of a severe trial, their overflowing joy and extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” This verse tells us that the Macedonians had abundant joy amid much testing and affliction. They did not have one or two drops of joy but an abundance.
Brothers and sisters, we must always delight with an abundance of joy. Even amid tribulations, we should still rejoice. For the life of Christ is a life of victory, and we must boast in His victory. Therefore, even when large armies threaten us and great tribulations await us, we can still rejoice and praise the Lord. One characteristic of victory is the overflow of praise and thanksgiving, even during troubling times.
Thanksgiving During Times of Trouble
There is a brother who was a railroad worker. He lost one of his legs in an accident with a passing train. When he woke up in the hospital after the accident, someone asked him whether he could still thank and praise the Lord.
He answered, “I thank and praise Him because I only lost one leg!” Therefore, even though he encountered tribulation, brothers and sisters, he could thank and praise the Lord. His response was the tone of victory, thanksgiving, and praise, even amidst great difficulty.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 24: The Overcoming Life, Chapter 11, by Watchman Nee)
About Raleigh Acupuncture
We have served the Greater Raleigh area with superior acupuncture and Chinese medicine since 2005. When you call our office, you are greeted by Chinese medicine practitioners, and all of your questions are answered by them directly. If no one answers, that’s because they are currently treating patients. For a faster response, text the Chinese medicine practitioners at 919-819-8113 or 919-815-8115. Our highest priority is to serve our patients with the most professional, effective, and compassionate care.