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Day 23: Thanksgiving Is the Pathway to Peace

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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 4:6-7)

 

Bullies, bills, biopsies, and broken dreams – any one of these by

itself is enough to bring on a small anxiety attack. Combine two or more

and a full blown bout of depression is common.

In today’s economic and social climate all of us have anxious

thoughts from time to time. We ask ourselves things like: Will my children

be Christ-followers? Will they be safe at school? Will the diagnosis

be cancer? Will the marriage last? Will the paycheck be enough? The

list goes on and on and on. We ask the questions and play the “what if ”

tape recorder over and over in our heads. Worry gives way to anxiety and

anxiety gives way to full blown depression. It is a vicious cycle that can

suck the life out of us. In some cases the worst case scenario becomes a

self-fulfilling prophecy. Our social life begins to suffer because we have

become the person who turns every conversation towards the negative.

Christians are not immune to depression and anxiety. In His great

mercy, God has given Christians a way out of the cycle that is counterintuitive

to the human mind. When we start to worry and get anxious, God

instructs us to bring our worries to Him with…thanksgiving! This way of

thinking requires more than an attitude adjustment, it requires a gratitude

adjustment.

Rather than worry if our children will be Christ-followers, we

thank God for our children and pray that He will lead them to Christ.

We thank God for our children’s schools and ask for protection. Instead

of worrying about a diagnosis, we thank God for our doctors. We thank

God for our spouses, and ask Him to strengthen the marriage. Worry

about money becomes gratitude for our jobs.

When we approach our problems with thanksgiving and prayer,

we begin to experience peace that is beyond our understanding. There

was a report on the news recently about a family who had lost everything

they owned when their house caught fire and burned to the ground. The

news person who was reporting on the tragedy was struck by how calm

the family was in spite of their great loss. When she asked them about

it, they expressed gratitude that they had lived in the house for 15 years,

had made many good memories there and they prayed that God would

provide for them again!

This family understood grateful living. They understood God’s

math, and so can you:

{(Gratitude>Anxiety) (Gratitude + Prayer =Peace)}

– Anita Burns –

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