It’s been a tough week for this old planet.
We’ve received quite a bit of shocking and heartbreaking news over these past few days.
Suddenly, the world has become a very small place and frightening events appear to be at our doorstep. Pat and I live equal distance from Baltimore and Washington D.C., and I can tell you – people are on edge.
In times like these, it is easy to let worry and fear take over – especially when we feel utterly helpless and uncertain of what is going to happen next.
Our anxiety may produce a feeling of powerlessness but, the truth is, we are not powerless at all. Anxiety is such a liar.
A very familiar passage from Philippians 4:6-9 tells us exactly what to do with our anxiousness:
“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.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
So often, we stop right there at verse 8, but the next two sentences in verse 9 give us an action step that will ensure we receive God’s peace:
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
This isn’t something we don’t already know, but the truth is, so many of us don’t do it — at least not consistently.
Girls, many of you have spent years in Bible study. Like me, you have shared countless hours sitting around circles with women discussing God’s Word. We have all attended women’s conferences and sat under the teaching of powerful Christian speakers and teachers – but, with all due respect, it is not enough. We need to put it into practice.
We cannot just think about such things – we must do them. That is the step Paul is urging us to take.
When anxiety hits, it’s easy for me to forget this. You too?
I heard someone say recently that the enemy is not at all concerned when we read our Bibles — he is only concerned when we do what it says!
So here is the question…
In these uncertain and worrisome times, are we going to live in a state of fretfulness, anxiety and panic – or will we walk in the truth we have been taught?
How can we be the light of the world during such darkness if we are unable to reflect God’s peace?
The threats and violence going on around us are real – but our Lord is not only real, He is in complete control. He may be asking us to walk a difficult road, but He lays out the steps we can take to walk it in peace.
We are to pray with thanksgiving in every situation and to keep our mind on all that is excellent and praiseworthy.
And then His perfect peace — such sweet relief — will come.
Notice that He tells us to express thankfulness in every situation – not just when things are going smoothly and all is well. Consistency is the key.
My friend Laurene is a wonderful example. She sees the ‘praise’ in every situation and I love her dearly. Last night at Bible study, she suggested that we not only pray over weekly prayer requests, but also pray in thankfulness over each other’s praises. What a perspective changer!
I would like to borrow Laurene’s idea and do the same with all of you. Let’s put this into practice together.
Will you please leave a quick comment below, sharing something you are thankful for? To use the words from Philippians 4 — something true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable and anything that is excellent or praiseworthy.
I’d love to read your praises!
Then, we can join together in prayer, thanking God for what He has done in our lives. I promise to pray for each one of you. I’ll go first and leave a comment with my own praise.
Let’s remind the evil one, and all of his helpers here on earth, that in spite of their attempts to terrorize us, we remain faithful and thankful.
I am grateful to be on the journey with you,
PS. Just for fun and because I am so thankful for you, I’ve posted two FREE yummy Thanksgiving cookie recipes for you to download and enjoy! They are our family’s favorites and the printable recipes are pretty enough to frame! Simply click the ‘freebies’ tab above. I’ll have more free downloads posted once ADVENT begins, so stay tuned! I am truly thankful for your support and encouragement! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! xo