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Thanksgiving A Mandate
by Timothy Cosmas   (Author)
Read First Three Chapters

Chapter 1
To have the attitude of thanksgiving:

1. Put your problems in a proper perception
“Problems are exams of life that will give you a certificate worthy of thanksgiving”
What is the top secret element of those that are successful? Those who always have a reason to give thanks? Those that offer thanksgiving in whatever situation they find themselves? What is this thing or principle they understand about challenges, struggles, and hurdles that you don’t?
The answer is very simple! They understand this truth that, in life, there must be difficult times! Times that it seems as if noting good can come out of ones life. Times that it feels as if one can never amount to anything better.
But those are times when one should improve on his attitude of thanksgiving.
When you appreciate God in your times of distress, God recognizes your thankful attitude and blesses you the more.
But one might say; “how can I improve on my attitude of thanksgiving when I am passing through rough times and so much difficulty?” When you understand these principles below, there might not be any need for these questions.
Read carefully, understand, and take them as your own:

A. Every human being presently living on this earth has a problem.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. (John 16:33)
What is your problem? Are you having a health challenge? If your answer is yes! When last did you visit your doctor for a checkup? If your answer is: “Not too long”. Then I am still asking you a question. Have you prayed about the ailment? If your answer still remains, “yes I have prayed about it, and there is no improvement”. Then let me ask you the last question! When last did you thank God for the good health He had giving you? And have you also thanked Him that you are sick?
Most often, things we consider irrelevant, are the things God requires thanksgiving from. If God cannot trust you with little, how will He be sure to trust you with plenty? (Mathew 25:21)
If you cannot thank God for good health, how will He be sure you will thank Him when He gives you long life? If you cannot thank God for a thousand dollar, how will He be sure you will thank Him when He gives you a million dollar?
As a student, if you cannot thank God for good grades in S.S.C.E examination, how will God be confident enough that you will thank Him when He gives you a university admission? A student that has never thanked God for the “C’s” in her subject, God will not be confident to bless her with “A’s” in any subject.
What is your problem, are you unemployed? If the answer is yes, then you need to understand one truth. A job would not solve all your problems. The truth is that employed folks have problems too. Most folks who have jobs complain about the fact that they have to go to work on Monday morning. And countless people have jobs they don’t like. They are giving five days a week to unhappiness. They work to live rather than live to work.
A tenant of my working with one of the banks in Nigeria always complains when it’s Sunday night-because Monday will be another day of unhappiness at work.
So many persons hate their jobs. They drag their feet getting to the office or factory. And once they are there, they devote a great deal of their time to complains, negative thoughts and unhappiness, instead of praises to God and thanksgiving for having a great job that pays.
Every living human on the surface of the earth has something to worry about. Some people think that their problems stem from the fact that they have to report to a boss, they have to answer “yes sir or ma” to someone they can possibly give birth to! So, that becomes a problem. They falsely assume that they would be happy if they could be self-employed.
If you think being a boss of your own can bring you happiness and solve your problems then, go and start up something. But the truth of the matter is the boss and the boy, the employer and the employee has something to worry about when it comes to job matters. Even the governments have problems of bills to settle, depths to pay, allocation to send to states. They also have problem of citizenry complaining of bad governance.
So the truth of the matter is-there is no problem you are facing currently that had never been experienced by another in this world (1Corinthians 10:13). You have to understand that others like you, have like burdens, and like temptations: what they bear up under, and break through, you may also. God is wise as well as faithful, and will make your burdens according to your strength. He knows what you can bear. He will make a way of escape; he will deliver either from the trial itself, or at least the mischief of it. So, you have full encouragement to flee from every sin of complain, and to be faithful to God and give Him thanks in whatever situation you may find yourself.
Every living person has a problem. Even the non striving person has the problem of inertia. This, in turn, produces a lack of enthusiasm. He lives life on a low level of physical energy, becoming bored.

B. Problems and challenges make YOU stronger

“Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; knowing that the proving of your faith work’s patience. And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing”.
- James 1:2-4
Problems don’t prevent you from reaching your destiny, but you do. God has arranged and designed a portrait of your life. He knows every detail of your future. Your God-giving purpose has long existed before your failure and challenge in life. Just like He said to Jeremiah in chapter 1:5 of the book of Jeremiah the Prophet “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations”. God knew you even before your birth. You were given a purpose even before you were born. So the test, trials, and struggles of your life are purposed by God to take you to your divine potentials. Your mistakes in life should not limit the purpose of God for your life. It should not be a reason why you should give up on yourself.
Let me tell you about a man that you know:
This man went through his problems and into his divine destiny: When he was seven years old, his family was forced out of their home on a legal technicality, and he had to work to help support them. At age nine, his mother died. At twenty-two, he lost his job as a store clerk. He wanted to go to law school, but his education wasn’t good enough. At twenty-three, he went into debt to become a partner in a small store. At twenty-six, his partner died, leaving him a huge debt that took years to repay. At twenty-eight, after courting a girl four years, he asked her to marry him, and she said no. At thirty-seven, on his third try, he was elected to congress, but two years later, he failed to get reelected. At forty-one, his four-year-old son died. At forty-nine, he ran for the Senate again, and lost. At fifty-one, he was elected president of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln, a man many consider to be the greatest leader the country ever had.
We Serve a God of Possibilities
The person going through the problem is the person next in line for the promotion. Joseph was in prison one day, and the next day he was prime minister of Egypt, living in the palace! He went from the pit to the palace. Esther was a slave girl one day, the next day she became a queen living in the palace. Hannah was a barren woman one day, the next day she became the mother of a great prophet and many children. David was a shepherd guy one day, the next time he became a king in Israel.
The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD', and he hath set the world upon them.
-1Samuel 2:6-8
So, whoever you are, whatever you are, it is God that has made you! Which is a good reason why you should be thankful, and serve him cheerfully, and do good with the abundance He has giving you. He doesn’t respect man's wisdom or fancy’s excellence of man, but chooses those whom the world accounts foolish, teaching them to feel their guilt, and to value his free and precious salvation.
God does not call the qualiied; He qualifies those He call’s. He takes men from “zero level” to “hero level”, He takes men from the “hall of shame” to the “hall of fame” He can do what the world tags impossible. Give Him the praise He deserve today, and you might be the next in line for the next level.
So you should take care, in times of trial, that patience, and not passion, is set to work in you: whatever is said or done, let patience have the saying and doing of it. When the work of patience is complete, it will furnish all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare. You ought not to pray so much for the removal of affliction, as for wisdom to make a right use of it. And who does not want wisdom to guide him under trials, both in regulating his own spirit, and in managing his affairs? Here is something in answer to every discouraging turn of the mind, when we go to God under a sense of our own weakness and folly. If, after all, any should say, this may be the case with some, but I fear I shall not succeed, the promise is, to any that asked, it shall be given.
A mind that has single and prevailing regard to its spiritual and eternal interest, and that keeps steady in its purposes for God, will grow wise by afflictions, will continue fervent in devotion, and rise above trials and oppositions. When our faith and spirits rise and fall with second causes, there will be unsteadiness in our words and actions. This may not always expose men to contempt in the world, but such ways cannot please God. No condition of life is such as to hinder rejoicing in God and offering of thanksgiving. Those of low degree may rejoice, if they are exalted to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God; and the rich may rejoice in humbling providences that lead to a humble and lowly disposition of mind.
Worldly wealth is a withering thing! Then, let him that is rich rejoice in the grace of God, which makes and keeps him humble; and in the trials and exercises which teach him to seek happiness in and from God, not from perishing enjoyments.
So then you need to understand that life can never be better without challenges! Challenges make us stronger as Christians, and it makes us more experienced in the circular world.

OVERCOMERS POINT

“They overcame by the blood of the lamb and by the words of their testimony (Rev 12: 11)”. I will consider “the words of their testimony” as the experiences we gather in life as a result of struggles and challenges of life and how God deliver us from them all.
Let us consider the story of David as a young boy before finally becoming a king:

“And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant was keeping his father’s sheep; and when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant smote both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. And David said, Jehovah that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and Jehovah shall be with thee” (1 Samuel 17:32-37 ASV).

If you critically look into this book of (1Samuel 17), you will come to understand one glaring fact or rather the truth behind David’s victory over Goliath. David was a boy that had passed through rough times and challenges in his life as a result of his work as a Shepherd guy in the forest.

“And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
-1Samuel 17:33

These were the words that came forth from the mouth of a king (Saul), to his subject (David). (A king as we all know in those days, stands and represent as a Lord, the head, and also a spiritual guide in most cases).
In our time, a king to a church or a Christian could also be seen as a lord, and a spiritual guide and also a source of encouragement to the believer. And these kings could be a Priest, Pastor, Evangelist, a Leader of a religious group and etc as the case may be.
So, considering the words of the King in Scriptures above, you will notice that, most of the times in our lives, words that are even worst or discouraging than this comes to us, confronts us, and even detects for us. But all we do as Christians is just accept them with good faith. When men say, “you graduated with low grades and you can’t get a good job; you were once a prostitute and no man will ever marry you; your ailment is incurable; you can never bare a child because of the number of abortions’ you had done; you can never make it in life because you don’t have a popular Son name or a pedigree”, and on and on and on. All we tend to do is just to accept with good faith and be ok with that.
Let me ask you a question: whose report should you believe? Would you believe in the doctor’s report that says you have cancer or AIDs and you’ll die in two months time?, or the report of the Lord Almighty that says you shall not die but live to declare the Words of the Lord in the land of the living? Would you believe in the report of that employer that says you’ll never get a job, or the report of the lord that says my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus? Or you believed in the report of men from your village that says your children will only bring sorrow to you and not amount to something in life! Rather than believing in the report of the lord that says the blessings of the lord makes rich and add no sorrow with it.
You need to understand that words carry power. Words can make you and also destroy you! As a believer, it is not every word that you say “yes” to, or agree with. It doesn’t matter if the word is coming from the Pope, a Reverend or even your Pastor. Any word that is not moving in accordance to the promises of God over your life has to be rejected and rebuked with passion, regardless of the mouth it’s coming from. Because the power of death and life; good and evil; prosperity and poverty; breakthrough and downfall; casting down and lifting up lies in the tongue! And those who love it shall eat off it.
But listen to how David answered his own Saul:

“And David said unto Saul, your servant was keeping his father’s sheep; and when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
Thy servant smote both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
And David said, Jehovah that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”
(1 Samuel 17:35-37).
David confronted the words from King Saul with the Words of his testimonies, experience, struggles and challenges he had passed through in life.
Many of us would even love to give the same answer David gave to His Saul, but unfortunately, we abandoned our wilderness experiences for pleasures! We ran from our bears and lions of life; we quite when the fight of life was tough; and we gave up when the storm was heavy.
I think these are the kind of Christians that will easily quote the Scriptures saying, “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection” ‘full-stop’. And then, ‘minus’, “the fellowship of his suffering”. Until you come to an understanding that your challenges cannot kill you but only shape you and make you a better person, you will not see a reason to thank God during your trying moment’s.
Most people who quite never knew how close they were to their breakthrough when they gave up. Giving up is never a solution to success, in-fact it’s not even the solution to an end of struggles, but an answer to more troubles.
You must understand that Christians are like springs, they are more useful when stretched. You can never know your God giving abilities if you do not pass through the stretchy, and stressed parts of life as a Christian or even non Christian. The good thing about eagle Christians is that, during the rainy, sunny, and windy times, it doesn’t stop them from flying. Most wings of some folks get thwarted during the wind of life, and even after the wind they don’t see a reason to fly any more.
Challenges can build and make you a better and glorious person in life. It was the challenges of suffering and dying for our sins that made Jesus have a higher and glorious name that is higher above principalities and powers, above rulers in heavens and on earth, that by the mention of this name “Jesus” every kneel should bow and tongues confesses. That is what challenges do to a man or woman that does not give up at the face of one, because challenges are food for champions! So, if must be a champion, don’t flee from challenges, overcome it.

THE GLORY IN EVERY CHALLENGE

Now, just like David, look at what challenges could do to you:
a. It makes you sing of God’s love for ever
b. It gives you faith that moves mountain
c. It strengthens you, and gives you courage
d. It gives you a certificate in life experiences
e. It increases your love for God
f. It also gives you boldness to speak about possibilities to others
g. And above all, it makes you a better person
Only a man or a woman with the right attitude of thanksgiving can acknowledge these facts about challenges. But the truth about the matter is, your failure to acknowledge these facts about challenges does not make God a worst God, or a better God! He is already God and will remain God, because He was not elected God. But the acceptances of these facts only give you a reason for thanksgiving, and then make you a better person.
C. You can decide to be POSITIVE or NEGATIVE in the face of trials.
“There are 3 enemies of personal peace: regret over yesterday’s mistake, anxiety over tomorrow's problems, finally, ingratitude for today's blessings.”
Let us look deep into a bible story, and examine the level of negativity and positivity demonstrated on a particular matter by some sets of believers.
“And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Send your men that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall you send a man, every one a ruler among them. And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran…. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua. And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is ; and the people that dwelled therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is , whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes. So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath.”(Numbers 13:1-3,…7-21 KJV).

From the passage of the bible above, Moses did exactly what the Almighty God commanded him to do. And that was to send these men to spy the land of Canaan which God promised to give to the people of Israel.
Now, follow me patiently as we go to the remaining part of this passage to see and understand what negative thoughts and words could do to a man.
“And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto the entire congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, we came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it flowed with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people are strong that dwell in the land and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”
-Numbers 13:25-30 KJV.

Hear was a positive report by Caleb whom believed in positivity, a man who is optimistic, who also believes that even in the wilderness God can still make a way. He also believed that God can make water flow in the desert. These are the kind of men I call “Eagle Christians”! Christians that soar higher than the Economic meltdown of a Nation! Christians that continually offer thanksgiving to God regardless of their hard times. These are Christians that do not consider the problems but the possibilities and promises.
As you follow me patiently again to the final passage of this matter in the bible, let’s consider the negative thinkers, and see how God reacted to these set of persons.

“(Numbers 13:31-33 KJV): But the men that went up with him said, we are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, the land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats’ up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

A negative report is an evil report capable of destroying the faith of multitude who believes in God. The same land that Caleb saw possibilities and blessings, that same land another confessed negative and saw failure.
Let me talk to you for a while. In the book of Proverbs 25:2 KJV, it says “it is the glory of God to conceal a thing”. Every problem contains secret ingredients of some creative potential either for you or someone else.
There are two sides to every coin. What may be a problem to someone can be a blessing to others. For instance, rats and mice bring discomfort to humans living around this part of the world. However, the presence of the same rats and mice in America alone results in tens of millions of dollars in their economy. Rats and mice are responsible for thousands of jobs! Factories make mousetraps and etc.
In the midst of trials and challenges, some mount up wings while others mount clutches. Every mountain has a peak. Every valley has its low point. Life has its ups and downs, its peaks and its valleys. But the way you react to a challenge depends on how quick or slow the challenge leaves. It is not the weight of a problem that matters, you know? But how you see it and handle it.
Negative thinking is contagious! The people of God, (the Israelites), at that time Moses were leading to the promise land suddenly, started doubting God, forgot about all He’s goodness, protection and provision over their lives, simply because, a negative report came out of the mouth of the other men of Israel that were pessimistic in the face of challenges. And God was angry. God by that time had told Moses He was going to destroy all he’s people, for failing to acknowledge his tender mercies towards them and failing to offer Him thanksgiving that He deserve.
But in the book of Numbers 14:13-40, Moses pleaded with God and reminded God of all His covenant with the people of Israel, then God hearkened to the plea of Moses and had mercy on them. But the word of the lord says that, “the soul that sin must die” (Ezekiel 18:20). So God did not spear the men that brought the negative report to Moses and his people.
Negative thinking and negative reports does not only limit you, but it’s a major sin against God. God considers negative reports as treason before him and the punishment is death.

Look at what John Hagee got to say about Negative words and thought:
“Those who declare negative words and thought of trouble and defeat are treacherous. They come to the strong and consume them. They are like a bottomless pit. They are unquenchable. They are always parched, bitter, and resentful. They are contagious; they drain the lifeblood of those who listen to their toxic tongue.
Yet those who proclaim God’s promises with Words and thought of hope and victory are inspiring. They strengthen the weak and motivate them. They are like an infinite resource of wisdom and understanding. They are contented, optimistic, and confident. They too are contagious; they elevate the faith of those who listen to their words of encouragement”.86
So, it’s left for you to be optimistic or pessimistic in the face of trials, challenges and difficulties of life. If only you can allow God to take the glory during your hard times by not complaining or giving-up, then you will be glad you did. So it’s now in your hands at this moment to decide, the ball is in your court as you check your attitude towards thanksgiving.

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Product Details
Author: Timothy Cosmas
Publication date: 7/17/2014
Pages: 74
Product dimensions: 481 x 699
More About This eBook
Overview
''Thanksgiving, a Mandate''! : seeks to unveil the true secret of success and happiness, knowing fully well that the act of Thanksgiving exposes you to the abundances of God. This book shall expose the top secret element of those that are successful and always have reasons to be joyful and thankful in almost every situations of their lives.
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About Author
Timothy Cosmas, is an Entrepreneur, a prolific Speaker and a Missionary who loves to develop the Mind of those he come's in contact with through inspired teachings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Saturday, September 6th 2014

By Cynthia Basil

Kudos Tim cosmos! This book really opened me to facts I never realised where hidden in thanksgiving. Thanksgiving should be something we must give everyday of our lives. This book has shown me that thanksgiving gives me a certificate in life experinces, just like a school cert. I can be able to tell others what I have learnt from my experince. The cover page is on point too. The couple praying. Well done sir. More grease to your elbow.

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