Thursday, September 13th, 2018
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7
It is imperative for God’s elect to experience salvation peace in their daily lives. There are three basic types of salvation peace mentioned in the Bible namely, the peace of God that comes once we are born again Rom 5:1, the peace of God that comes through total surrender to God in all things John 14:27 and the peace on earth that will come when Jesus Christ returns to reign in glory Isa 2:1-4.
Phil 4:6-7 deals with salvation peace that comes with total surrender to God in all things.
It is the peace of God in the time of trouble that overcomes our worries and helps us to rest in the righteousness of God that contains Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection. The key to experience this kind of peace is when we have a thankful heart.
Thanksgiving is an important theme throughout the Bible. It is mentioned over 140 times. David spoke about it in Psalms 103, Daniel practiced it in Dan 6:10 and Paul wrote about it in 1 Thess 5:18.
The key to experiencing the peace mentioned in Phil 4:6-7 lies in possessing a thankful heart. Let me show you some reasons why I say that thanksgiving is the key to peace.
Thanksgiving Comes When We Look Up
Vs 6 reminds God’s elect that sometimes the cares of life that make us anxious and worry can make thanksgiving difficult. Even God’s elect go through such moments in this fallen world. John 16:33 ; Ecc 2:23 However, when we take the time to stop in our struggles and look up to God for His assistance, we will discover that we have many reasons for thanksgiving. When we look up, we will discover that God is at work in our struggle Rom 8:28, God is ever present in our struggle Heb 13:5 and God is concerned about our struggles and He invites us to bring our needs to Him in prayer Heb 4:15-16
Thanksgiving Comes When We look Around
Vs 6 also suggests a life that is lived in a close and fully dependent relationship with God. When we take the time to stop and look around at all the blessings we enjoy because of our relationship with the Lord, it is easy to see why we should have a thankful heart. God’s elect need to stop and take a spiritual inventory of all the blessings we enjoy in the Lord. Earlier I mentioned Psalms 103. In that Psalms, David catalogues the blessings of the Lord and calls on the people of God to remember those blessings and to praise God for those blessings. Vs 1-2 Those blessings include forgiveness Vs 3, spiritual health Vs 3, redemption Vs 4, blessings Vs 4, satisfaction Vs 5, strength Vs 5, the Word Vs 7, God’s infinite mercy Vs 8, God’s family Vs 13 and God’s patience Vs 14. God’s elect must think of all that we have in Christ such as love, mercy, grace, salvation, forgiveness, the Church, prayer, financial blessing, physical blessing, spiritual blessing and a home in Heaven. When God’s elect take time to look around at all the blessings, then we can have a thankful heart even in the midst of struggle.
Thanksgiving Comes When We Look Ahead
Vs 6 mentions anxiety and worry. Anxiety and worry flourish anytime there is doubt and fear. The area of life most often that consumes us with doubt is the future. We just don’t know what tomorrow will bring and that lack of knowledge fills us with fear over the unknown. Doubts cringes and manifest in fear over the disappointments, losses and trouble tomorrow may hold. Instead, faith in the righteousness of God for God’s elect welcomes the future with grateful optimism. Faith looks ahead to the future with confidence because faith knows Who controls and plans tomorrow Isa 46:9-10 Faith knows the God Who safely leads His people through today and through all the tomorrows of life Ps 37:23. Why can faith be so hopeful when it looks ahead? Phil 4:8 tells us that faith focusses its attention on the things that glorify God. Faith is thankful when it faces the future because faith does not concern itself with tomorrow. Faith rests in the unchanging faithfulness of God. Faith knows Who holds the future even in the midst of trial. When our eyes are on the Lord, we can face the future with thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is the key to lasting peace, When we look up we will find abundant reasons for thanksgiving. When we look around, there are even more reasons for thanksgiving. When we look ahead, we can do so much with thanksgiving because we know Who holds our tomorrows.
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