#204 – THANKSGIVING (1/10/20)
Are you more aware of the good things in your life or the things that are going or could go badly?
Yesterday we saw that we can talk to our Heavenly Father about anything that is worrying us. Paul adds that our praying is to be full of thanksgiving. Paul writes,
'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ (Philippians 4:6)
There are always abundant things for which to be thankful. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of ascending a long climb. As you progress, you look ahead to the goal and try to keep a good attitude. On such a slog, it’s important to enjoy the view; look back and see the terrain that you’ve covered already. See the path snaking back into the valley. Maybe you can see your car, now a tiny speck, in the valley. You’ve overcome a lot! This is like thanksgiving. It’s recalling all that God has done already. Let’s recall Paul’s example in the opening of this letter,
‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…’ (Philippians 1:3-5)
Paul had reasons to be anxious about this church, his imprisonment, his life, their unity…but he prays with thanks! He gives thanks for specific things like their ‘partnership in the gospel’. Let’s learn to do the same in all circumstances.
Think about what’s bothering you right now. Take some time to thank God for what you can thank Him for in relation to those issues.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - MAKE PEACE YOUR GUARDIAN THROUGH PRAYER
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
When have you felt most peaceful and why was this the case?
Introduction - please share in your group
On Sunday, and during this week’s devotionals, we are considering how we can experience the peace of God in all circumstances.
Firstly, Paul shows us that we are all prone to losing peace in our relationships. He encourages two leading women in the church to work out their difficulties,
‘I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.(Philippians 4:2-3)
Secondly, Paul talks more broadly about how we can make peace our guardian through joyful prayer. He writes,
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 4:4-7)