Each year my church takes the service before Thanksgiving to share with each other what we
are thankful for. This week was a beautiful service with tears, hugs, and laughter. During worship there was such an incredible peace that settled in me. So deep is this peace I can feel it on a cellular level, if that is possible.
I pray this peace for you and your family. Holidays can be hectic. Joining together with extended family can be frustrating, or even painful as years of misunderstandings and hurts come together in one house to share a meal. Some that I know are gathering around the dinner table with loved ones absent, having passed away from this life to the next. I pray for peace through your loss.
You and I have the choice to seek the peace of God, and be an instrument of his peace whatever the circumstances we may be facing during the holidays.
Phil. 4:7 shows us that being thankful is connected to our peace:
6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about these things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phil. 4:6-8 NLT
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Lift up your eyes to God by simply saying “Thank you,” for all that you have, and the awesome people in your life. Take time to thank God for how he has moved in your life this year. When the thankfulness starts flowing, you will find that you have started to worship God, in awe of his goodness. Please don’t stop after the Christmas ornaments have been tucked away in storage for another year. Don’t put your thanksgiving in storage, only to be discovered again with the excitement of fresh snow, apple cider, and decorating a new tree. Keep your thankful heart out year round. When life is rough, you will need it most!
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
That Sunday at my church did not change any of my circumstances. Yet, beyond my reasoning, beyond my ability to solve the problems I am facing, I have peace. This peace does not deny my problems, it just supersedes them. My heart trusts in God’s provision, purposes, plans, and love. Nothing I can face in this life is too big for him, and he will not fail me or let me fall. I have peace. God is my rock.
Think about these things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Sometimes we just need a shift in our thinking. Rather than complaining about the bills piling up, thank God that you have bills to pay. It means that you have a roof over your head, heat during the cold winter months, a car to drive, and groceries in the fridge! There was a time in our small town when much of the work was dwindling away, leaving many without jobs. The mindset began to shift from, “I have to go to work,” to “I get to go to work, I am so grateful to have a job.” It was a great reminder to me to remain thankful for everything, even when the employment isn’t fun or fulfilling.
Fix your thoughts on…
What you think about is your choice. The movies that play in your head have a “stop” button, even a “delete” button! You do not need to replay the arguments, fears, or worries. Stop those thoughts and images. Choose instead to fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
3You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. 4So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. Isa 26:3-4 AMP
I pray that you fix your heart and mind on God. He loves you, and has good plans for you! Begin to thank him for the life you have today, trust him for tomorrow, and let his perfect and constant peace rest upon you!
What are you thankful for today?