“Rejoice in the Lord always…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.” Philippians 4:4, 6-7
What a powerful promise! The peace of God guards my heart and mind. Is there a better reason to give thanks this year?
Years ago, when my husband and I started out as newlyweds, we pinched pennies and barely scraped by from paycheck to paycheck. We had a little black-and-white TV that picked up random channels through its rabbit ear antenna. Meals were often scant and gas for the car a luxury.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13
Despite the fact that thirty years of hard work and God’s blessings lifted us from that economic situation, I never forget the tough times. Like Paul, I learned the secret of being content despite my circumstances. It is a contentment born from dwelling in thanksgiving with my heavenly Father.
This year, as I review my reasons to be thankful, they may be similar to yours—family, shelter, food, employment, good health, and ministry. My list hasn’t always included all these things, nor am I guaranteed it will be the same next year.
But do you know what I’m most thankful for?
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31b-32, 35-39
I’m most thankful that nothing can separate me from the love of my Lord and Savior.
Dear God, we come before your throne with grateful hearts, overflowing with the love you’ve shown us through your Son. Despite the hardships we’ve encountered this year, thank you for the many blessings you’ve given us. Thank you for always being accessible and consistent in your love. Thank you most of all for the salvation you’ve provided through Jesus. In His name we pray. Amen.
For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences
When words are not enough
With every breath I take
I will give thanks to God above
If you have a prayer request, please leave it in the comment section or email me privately confidential requests. Also, if you'd like to share a praise report or something you're thankful for, I'd love to hear it!
Courtney, a young mother battling a cancerous brain tumor, will have her two-month follow-up MRI today to check the effectiveness of treatment. Her last two MRIs have been clear. Please lift her up in prayer as she travels to Duke, has the procedure, and then meets with the oncologist for results. She is also having a side effect to the chemo that has successfully treated her cancer up to this point. Pray that her body will fight this so she can continue on the treatment.
The permanent prayer list and updates on Sgt. Jesse McCart are listed above. If you’re interested in sending him or another injured soldier a card, the addresses are also listed on his page. The holidays are difficult times for people chronically ill or who’ve been seriously injured. They greatly appreciate any mail received.
©Laura Hodges Poole
Photo courtesy of Microsoft.com free clip art