Years ago my husband and I were going through financial problems, and I was distraught with worry. Then I read Philippians 4:6-7, which told me not to be anxious about anything, but to bring everything to the Lord in prayer, with thanksgiving.
After I turned everything over to the Lord and started giving thanks to Him, faith filled me – and I received “the peace of God that passes all understanding” that verse seven promises. But when we are depressed and despairing, what can we thank God for?
I have learned that thanking God for the following can lift my heart to see above the problems of this world:
- His beautiful creation. I grew up in a summer resort in New Jersey, where living close to nature was part of my life – pine trees, water and gorgeous sunsets. My early attention to the beauty of God’s world gave me added appreciation for the amazing variety of plants, creatures, and scenery God has provided for us to enjoy. When I praise God for something He made, it increases my joy. Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field … Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:28-29).
- The provisions of life. Even though we say grace, we may take the food we eat for granted. We’d enjoy it much more if we were grateful! The next time you eat one of your favorite foods, be thankful for its availability. Many people in the world only have plain rice to eat. When we think of our less-privileged, hungry brothers and sister in Christ, let’s pray, “Lord, give us this day our daily bread.”
- Everything we have comes from God. Ecclesiastes 5:19 says, “When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God.” When we thank God for our families, our home, warm clothes and all the conveniences that make our lives easier, we are able to enjoy them even more.
- Fellowship of the saints. Wherever we Christians go, we can find brothers in sisters in Christ. That is His fellowship, His church. When we grieve or feel depressed, our brothers and sisters comfort us and pray for us. Their prayers help bring healing and wisdom and carry us through troubled waters on the wings of God’s grace. Many of us Christians take for granted our church, pastor, and fellow Christians. It is sad that we must be struck by some calamity before we realize the blessing our spiritual family can be to us.Our Lord has given us the fellowship of the saints for our enrichment and increase of joy. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
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- God’s promises. The Bible is full of God’s promises, especially the psalms. Many times when troubles have been abundant, I have opened my Bible and found a precious promise for me that has proven to be a great comfort. But we don’t have to go through troubled times to appreciate God’s promises. His blessings are new every morning.Thank God! The Lord has promised us freedom from anxiety, along with His peace that passes all understanding, if we simply trust Him with everything (Philippians 4:6-7). He promised to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19), supernatural joy to His followers (John 15:11), an abundant life (John 10:10) and answered prayers (John 14:14). Let’s not forget to thank Him!
- The greatest gift God gave mankind was His only begotten Son, who gave His life to grant us forgiveness of sin and everlasting life. Through His Spirit God gives us joy, peace, and victory. Let us rejoice in our Lord and give thanks to Him in all things!
Clinton C. Cox declared this about the deliverance thankfulness can give us, “John Henry Jowett said,
‘Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.’ This is a most searching and true diagnosis. Gratitude can be a vaccine that can prevent the invasion of a disgruntled attitude. As antitoxins prevent the disastrous effects of certain poisons and diseases, thanksgiving destroys the poison of fault-finding and grumbling. When trouble has smitten us, a spirit of thanksgiving is a soothing antiseptic.”
Written by Dr. Muriel Larson
If you don’t know God and his forgiveness and would like to start living a life where he is at your centre, you can start that journey today with a prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to trust you from now on. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me be the person You want me to be. Thank you for enabling me to trust you in these uncertain times. Amen.