Many people waste the gift of each day by thinking about the “if only... .” During these days of having to stay home, many dream about all the things they don’t have or where they can’t go or what they can’t do. It’s so easy to live life without a thankful spirit. When you and I wake up each morning, we make a choice. We can live that day, thinking about all the things we wish were different about our life, OR we can get up and choose to think about and give thanks for the many blessings God has given us.
I hate we’re going through this difficult time as a nation, but I absolutely believe God is in control. The verse in Philippians 4:6 is so challenging, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” God tells you and me to do three things in that verse: 1) stop worrying about things we can’t control; 2) pray about anything and everything; and 3) be thankful in the midst of everything that happens in life.
Now, let me quickly add, He is not saying that we need to be thankful FOR everything that happens, but in the midst of whatever we’re going through, there is always something for which we can give thanks to God. Now if we are faithful to do those three things, then we can know God will do His part, which is found in the very next verse, Philippians 4:7, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I love a little equation Charles Swindoll came up with based on this scripture: Absence of worry + Prevalence of prayer + Spirit of gratitude = Peace of God.
Rick Meade is pastor at Lynn Garden Baptist Church in Kingsport.