Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lesson 20: Lots to be thankful for

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Philippians 4:6-7. It reads:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

I have always enjoyed the thought of making my requests known to God and that as a result He would give me indescribable peace. Until a few days ago, I had never caught the "with thanksgiving" part. I guess in my reading I always focused on the "making my requests known...peace of God" parts. I was reading an article by Lisa TerKeurst where she mentioned praying with an attitude of thanksgiving even when we are anxious. She wrote:

How are we instructed to pray in Philippians 4:6 when we feel anxious? With thanksgiving.

And what is the outcome of each of these situations where thanksgiving is proclaimed? Peace.
Powerful, unexplainable, uncontainable peace.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7, NIV).

One of Webster's official definitions of thanksgiving is: "a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness."

I wonder how we might celebrate God's divine goodness today?

I wonder what might happen if we decide in the midst of our circumstances today to notice, pause and choose something for which we can truly be thankful...."

How could I have missed the part about praying with thanksgiving...? I guess in my times of feeling anxious I tend to hang on tight to the part about God giving me peace. But that peace comes only after I express thankfulness. So today I choose to be thankful. Perfect timing...since Thanksgiving is only a few days away! 

I am thankful that Jesus cared enough about me to die. I am thankful that I am Tim's wife and Julia's mommy. I am thankful that she is taken care of daily by people that love her a lot. I am thankful that we can provide for her to give her the things she needs. I am thankful that she is healthy.

The point of being thankful is that if I spend my time praying to God out of a thankful heart, I start to focus on those things instead of the things that are making me anxious...

So what do you have to be thankful for? 

What I am most thankful for

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