The Power of Thanksgiving
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 (Philippians 4:6-7).
God instructs us to suffuse our lives with thanksgiving and marinate our hearts in praise. Notice how Paul phrases this command in his letter to the Philippians. He reminds them of this command as part of his reminder not to be anxious. So, he is not talking about the kind of praise and thanksgiving that seems in line with events. He is saying wrap everything in thanksgiving, especially when the situation would seem to call for anxiety and worry.
People who have learned the value of praise and thanksgiving are fortified and ready for whatever life brings. But you learn it in the small things. That’s where you integrate it into your life so that it is your default mode. It’s like learning a foreign language. You have to practice it and immerse yourself in it until it is so much a part of you that you even think in your new vocabulary of praise.
Once praise and thanksgiving have become your norm, then when life’s big hurdles and hurts come along, you will respond to them from a whole different place. You will have fostered a heart of genuine praise and thanksgiving in the small things and when the big things come crashing in, you will know how to move from panic to praise because of much practice. When the earthquake hits home, you will find faith at the fault line. When the epicenter is right under your feet, you will find that your feet are planted on a rock. When the big events seem to come out of nowhere and throw your whole life off balance, you will have been trained by all the small events when you learned to keep your eyes on the provision instead of the problem.
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