By Sharman J. Monroe
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
Philippians 4:6 (AMP emphasis added)
This was a tough year. Global pandemic. Turmoil. Social unrest. Anxiety. Stress. Lost jobs, homes, lives. Lost trust. Lost faith. Yet, in all this upheaval, Thanksgiving Day, nevertheless, rolled around on November 26, 2020. For some, it was hard to find something to be thankful for this year and I understand completely. We couldn’t have that family dinner together around the big dining room table because of social distancing. Some didn’t have food for that big dining room table.
But, we Christians have the 2-step formula to survive and thrive in times like these, to survive and thrive no matter what is going on in life and no matter how we feel. Here it is:
Step 1: Don’t be anxious or worried about anything. Not just about some things, but all things. That covers a whole lot of life. Romans 8:28 teaches us that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” God is already in our future with the perfect solution for us. He just waiting for us to stop striving in our own strengths, trust, and arrive at that time in the future.
Step 2: Pray and specifically ask God with thanksgiving. Prayer is just talking to God. God loves to hear the prayers of the righteous (Psalm 34:15). We know that everything comes from God (Romans 11:36), and the Word teaches that we don’t have and don’t obtain from God because we don’t ask (James 4:2). So, pray and do so with a thankful heart for what He has done—small and the big. Giving thanks to God makes you look outward and takes your eyes off of you. Giving thanks to God puts your focus on Him and opens you up to seeing, and receiving what is around you. When your focus is on God, then His peace will surround you. Then the anxiety, the stress, the worry goes away. The lost trust and faith return. Then you will hear from God who will give you direction.
We can’t do anything about the global pandemic and its effects. But the next time you get bogged down by all of it, step back remember the 2-step formula and apply it.
I challenge you to sit down and write five things you are thankful for in 2020. Happy Thanksgiving!