As I end this month long journey of thankfulness, I am more content and satisfied with my present circumstances because of all of the wonderful promises and truths we’ve seen. My final choice this last day of November 2020, which has been a particularly difficult year world over, is Philippians 4:6-7. I like the Amplified translation as it makes it very clear, 6 Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
This promise of not needing to worry about anything is very reassuring. To really believe this, one must believe God exists and is Sovereign over all things in His creation. God is in control and I need to pray specifically about my concerns and needs and leave it to God. Worry or anxiety is human but is not what God wants for us. He wants us trusting in Him, releasing our worries to Him and living with His peace in our hearts. His peace for our mind, body and soul comes from and through Christ Jesus. He promises to guard our hearts and minds and give us a transcending peace. All this comes as we commit ourselves to being thankful in all things and believing in faith that God has things handled.
May the thankful promises of November carry you into December so you can rejoice in the Advent season. The reason for our thankfulness is found in Christ!
Philippians 4:6-7 is a familiar portion of scripture that brings great comfort to believers. Here are Paul’s words in the New Living Translation. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Paul exhorted the Philippian believers, as well as us, to leave all our worries and concerns with Jesus in prayer. We are to tell God what we need and then thank Him for things we know God has done and provided for us in the past. How will that help with our worrying? Reviewing in our mind all the blessings God has given makes us realize that what we have is His and He has caused all things in our lives to work together for good. Perhaps we cannot see it right now, but we have to trust His promise in Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Reviewing the circumstances of our lives, the ups and downs, the narrow escapes, the blessings of each day, the miracles done on our behalf causes us to thank God. Knowing He has provided in the past and will in the future gives us hope and creates thanksgiving in our hearts. The end result is what Paul proclaimed- PEACE! The peace Jesus brings in such situations is all from Him, it is encompassing and beyond description.
Are you worried, frustrated, consumed with grief or depression? Turn to God in prayer with thanks in your heart, think about God and all He has done for you, and you will find peace. If your circumstances are difficult and you struggle to find earthly thanks then turn your thanks to God for your spiritual blessings. You are loved by God, saved, have a home in heaven, are a saint and loved child of God, you are redeemed and freed from the penalty of sin….. Your spiritual blessings are eternal and no one or nothing here can change or corrupt them. Give thanks and His peace will come upon you.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have untold resources and riches available to me in Christ. Once we grasp this concept of riches in Christ, a whole new world is opened to us. As Jesus said, in Matthew 17:20, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Here are some key verses about God’s riches given to us in Christ. Philippians 4:19 is a wonderful promise from God. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” God knows what we need and promises to supply all our needs. When I am stressing over money, relationships or personal suffering, I take great comfort in knowing Jesus has my back and will provide all that I need whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual. He is there with me and knows my needs before even I do. In Colossians 2:2-3, Paul expands the idea as he speaks to the Colossains. “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Jesus has resources that can bring me complete understanding and encourage me to work together for Him in love.
The riches available to us in Christ are for: the strengthening of our faith, the release from worry about material provisions, the increase in understanding of His Word and the understanding of the mystery of salvation, atonement, sanctification, forgiveness, justification, Christlike living, fruits of the Holy Spirit, …… With this increased knowledge and focus we are rich and have all we need for godly living in Christ! Like the Colossians we will be united in purpose and love as we serve our Lord Jesus Christ.
Suggestion: Make a list of the things you understand about Christ today that were hard or unknown to you before becoming a follower of Jesus. You will be thankful and amazed. Make a list ways God has provided for you in just the last few months. You will be thankful and amazed! Thank you Jesus.