Philippians 4: 6-7.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Wow! what a great word of encouragement from Paul, written from behind bars, for the persecuted Christians in the church of Philippi. Do you need to hear them today for your whirlwind world that seems to spin out of control? He was all too aware of the discouragements, and difficulties that plagued them. He, himself, had been in similar conditions and was in prison because of the trials that bombarded him, in sharing the message of the Gospel. Paul didn’t speak much of his own discouragement or fear, but instead, he wrote with joy, from a heart of compassion, demonstrating that Christians can be passionate for Christ regardless of their circumstances.
These words were written by Paul to encourage the fearfully anxious to talk over everything with God. To bring each and every issue, situation and circumstance before Him in prayer, being ‘thankful’ for whatever it was that caused chaos in their life and uprooted their peace of mind. It’s tough to be thankful for bad days isn’t it? It’s very difficult to wrap our mind around thankfulness, when everything goes wrong. Those in Philippi experienced more than just bad days. They were immersed in terrible days of torture, torment, and possible death! Yet, Paul exhorts them to be ‘thankful.” Paul knew the secret! He knew that it was only in thankfulness of heart that we can accept what comes. It’s in accepting the situation, that we find contentment and it’s in contentment that we find a healing peace from God that can not be explained. It’s a deep inner, spiritual knowledge that all is well with our soul and with our life, because God is the Master engineer and come what may, through it all, all things are Father filtered and customized to our needs to aid us in spiritual growth and maturity in Christ.
What’s on your heart today. What chaotic circumstances are battering you like a ship tossed at sea? Mark 4: 39, tells us “Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” Christ can speak peace into the eye of your storm and into the heat of your struggle, if we ask HIm. Quiet your heart and your mind before Him and Be still! Psalm 46: 10 says “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
When thankfulness to God in all things is our default, We can experience peace in all things! It’s God’s promise! Let Him rebuke the wind and waves in your life and speak His gentle, healing peace into the storm.
♫❤♫❤♫❤B L E S S I N G S♫❤♫❤♫
So when the thanksgiving celebration is over and the turkey is gone and the meal has been devoured are the hearts still thankful ~ or not? Do we still persevere and run the race in thankfulness or have we somewhere along the way picked up negative vibes of other stuff to slow us down, and push our gratefulness to the back burner? Pushed it to some out-of-sight, remote corner of our world where it’s dark and dismal? A place where anxious worry and fears, oh so real fears, tug at us from all the far corners of the earth and overpower our clear thinking? What is it that won’t let go of the mind so that you can find the peace you desire, and need? Yeah, we all have the moments when we forget to be thankful for the small stuff because anxiety trumps (no pun intended) our thankful spirit! Worry takes over life and we begin living in nooks and crannies of despair simply because it all seems so hopeless. There’s a whole bunch of us living there, in the crowded corners of fear, wondering our next move and what it should be! There’s no empty space! No clear way! No direct path out and so what’s one to do as a prisoner in your own body?
Beautiful you ~ Track back to that corner of gratefulness, wherever you left it and find the blessing in the bleak! Track back to the good and yeah, even the not so good and find the golden threads of promise that have held you together this long. Untie them! Unravel them and take a good, long look at what you hold in your hand. Promises of God? His love, His guidance, His faithfulness, His Blessings? Yeah, so many, some mixed in with hurts and disappointment because life is life but things that God used to make you who you are today. He doesn’t waste pain! He uses every trace of it to strengthen our weakness and pull us out and up from where we are to where we can be. He still cares and that’s reason to offer praise from even a hurting heart! An offering of praise to our creator is the best antidote for anxiety. David lamented while hiding in a cave, fearing for his life, and writes his heart felt prayer in Psalm 142: 5, “I cry to your O Lord; I say ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison that I may praise Your name.” and then He does just that in Psalm 145:1, “I will exalt You, my God the King;…great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.”
So yeah, today in that anxious corner find the blessing in the bleak and let praise pour out of your grateful heart to the One on the heavenly throne. The Sovereign One in charge and watch the fear dissipate and melt away from your mind! Enter into the land of the living once more and allow God to be your refuge and your portion!
So beautiful you ~ embrace today with all of it’s chaotic stuff happening in the big world and in yours! There’s much to ponder and so much on our plates to wonder about, but still let’s embrace the sweet moment and moments that we have, while we have them. Yeah, those moments of life and breath itself that we collect and tuck inside our souls. They won’t come again but they can bless us while they’re here if we only take the time to be grateful even for the hard stuff.
So that mind of yours ~ Is it weary with worry and weakened by fear with concerns over things you have no control over? And is it like, “Who cares anyway”? Alone and aching and so much at stake? “Why this”? “Why now”? “What now”? “What’s the next turn or twist”? Well beautiful soul ~ the enemy preys on weakened thinking and fear and worry but oh, he runs from a thankful heart and a heart full of praise. Yeah, thankful hearts, even for the hard stuff. Our greatest blessings hide out in the difficult places and a grateful heart brings them to the surface all wrapped up in a grace so amazing and a love so sweet and so unconditional. All Gracious gifts from the Father of Light, our Sovereign God who rules over the big world and over yours! Take your cares to Jesus ‘cuz the world is His and your world is His. His to order and heal and restore and make new. His to take to the Father and intercede for on your behalf. Oh yeah, we are blessed and you are blessed if you know Him and have a personal relationship with the Christ who gave up His own life in His own divine world unto death and yet, defied it, to redeem a lost and dying earth world. On His team, abundant life is our gift for living here ~ so toss the worry aside and release the fear and the concern for it all. It’s in God’s hands anyway and you can know He won’t let you down ~ not even for one beautiful second of your beautiful day in your beautiful life. Trust Him!
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
Psalm 55: 2
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.…”
1 Peter 5: 6, 7, 8
So ~ there’s more to this thankful heart bit than just saying “Thank you” for a gift that we don’t deserve or for the meal that we’re about to enjoy! We live in a land of plenty with so much to be thankful for but a grateful heart has to go beyond the blessing of the good all the way to the nitty-gritty of the not so good! All the way to the hard times ~ the difficult times, and the just plain, old, bad times. It’s a piece a cake and totally easy street to be so utterly happy and thankful when all is right with the world and the car works, the kids behave and the money’s enough and more. When the food’s plentiful, bills are paid, firewood is gathered and the house is warm. Yeah, relationships are healthy and all our warm fuzzies surround us in our cozy, little worlds of plenty! Yeah! Thanks is easy stuff there, but oh beautiful soul….it has to go deeper! It has to go down to where life’s reality finds us all too often; into the thick of the serious stuff, where living is hard and tough situations become difficult burdens; where the rubber meets the road and into where the going gets tough and the joy is ~ well ~ truth is, it’s up and left you high and dry! After all no good thing can come from whatever it is that has come a calling!
Paul knew that place of serious life and he reminds us from his prison cell, in Philippines 4: 10 – 12, that even in his incredible loss it was still all okay.
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.…Paul knew the joy of the Lord and He lived it through the good and bad.
So ~ beautiful you, your blessings are more than “All is well,” and more than good times. They present beautifully in the bad too! Sweet blessings hide in the prisons of ill-health, bad news, financial crisis and extensive loss. Yeah, they do! A grateful heart will find them, and in a more profound and deeper way than what meets the eye on our dark days of compromised vision. So be thankful even for those! Remember with Paul, the tight spots and deep hurdles are truly God's way of loving on us, where He meets our difficulty with divine compassion and our "out of control" situations with hope. You can trust Him! You can rejoice in Him, the source of your joy, 'cuz when everything is wrong, He'll make it right and bless you through it. He's got it all for you and you can know it. You can rejoice in Him your Maker, and that, beautiful one, is awesome reason enough to be thankful
even through the storm.
"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
2 Corinthians 9:8
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
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•°•.•*~*.✿ I WiSh YoU ✿.*~*.•°•.•
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