The center of Christian living is Thanksgiving! “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds.”God has emphasized His desire in this text that in everything we are to give thanks. This is not an option. It is the will of God.“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”I Thessalonians 5:18. The absence of the attribute of thanksgiving is the mark of failure in a believer’s life. It is rooted in a spiritual immaturity. Paul admonishes the church in Corinth concerning this malady. “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food, for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men.” I Corinthians 3:1-3
Mere men, unthankful, unable, and unaware of their naivete. Any believer that has left God as his portion will lack any trace of thanksgiving. He or she must return to God as their portion in order to return to a heart of thanksgiving. “Whom have I in heaven but You? And, there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26 The soul that has God as His portion will be characterized by a spirit of thanksgiving. He will be anxious for nothing, knowing God as his portion and strength.
Anxiety is disarmed because of the steadfastness and confidence in the Lord. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Psalm 56:3 According to the Word, faith is rooted in the Lord; not in man. David petitions God when in distress. Psalm 60:11; “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.” And again in Psalm 50:10; “Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light: Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God.”
The dragon of anxiety being slain, the believer is armed with the weapon of prayer. He takes his pressures of life to the throne of grace. Prayer is launched to the heavens to receive mercy, grace and help. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 Christ Jesus extends His grace to all that make requests to Him. This grace strengthens the saints. “…be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” II Timothy 2:1 All turmoil, trouble, hurts, sorrow and heartache are to be sent to the Lord. “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 God wants from his sheep a spirit of thanksgiving in everything. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication , with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” This will be hard to do in your own strength. Ask God to set you free from those who have abused, abandoned, or broken your heart. “…looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” Hebrews 4:15
The heart can never be thankful until you forgive those who have hurt you. When you forgive, God’s grace will pour into your heart and you will be a vessel of honor imparting grace to others. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29
Here’s what God instructs you to do; “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
Here’s what I suggest you do: Make a list of those who have hurt you. List their offenses and forgive each offense, one by one. The burden will be lifted and you will be able to give thanks in everything. “…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:7.
Where the grace blows,