The theology of thanks

By Dave Henning / July 28, 2023

“The theology of thanks starts with the things we take for granted.  It’s cultivating profound gratitude for the things we overlook and underappreciate. . . .  God is so good at what God does that we take it for granted.  The angels shout ‘Encore,’ and maybe we should too!”- Mark Batterson

“Bravo, God, bravo! . . .  All the angels shout, ‘Encore!’  In awe before the glory, in awe before God’s visible power.”- Psalm 29:1 (MSG)

“Worship is transcendent wonder.  Wonder for which there is no limit or measure.”- Thomas Carlyle, Scottish essayist (1795-1881)

In Chapter 12 (“Daily Reintroduction”) of Please Sorry Thanks, Mark Batterson talks about Nikola Tesla, one of history’s most prodigious inventors.  Granted more than a hundred U. S. patents, Tesla’s most noted for the inventing alternating current power system.  Above all, the system that provided electricity to Chicago’s Columbian Exposition (White City) in 1892.

Most significantly, it’s reported that Tesla engaged in a revealing and inspiring ritual during thunderstorms.  Tesla sat on a couch near a window in his home.  And every time lightning struck and thunder clapped, Tesla rose to his feet and applauded God.  Hence, Pastor Batterson asks, when was the last time you:

  • clapped for the Creator?
  • gave Him a standing ovation?

However, Mark believes, we often settle for generic gratitude!  But your thanks gains power the more nuanced it is.  Therefore, specificity = the silver bullet.

In conclusion, Pastor Batterson exhorts:

“The idea of daily reintroduction is powerful, and it applies to a thousand things. . . .  Our problem is selective memory.  The bottom line?  We don’t see the world as it is.  We see the world the way we are.  If you’re looking for something to complain about, you’ll find it. . . .  And your words — be they words of complaint or gratitude — will create your interior world.

Is there something you need to applaud God for?  Pull a Tesla and give God a standing ovation!”

Today’s question: How can you apply the theology of thanks to the things you take for granted?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Vision = a preservative”

About the author

Dave Henning

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