Are you dealing with worry and fear in your life? In Matthew 6:25 Jesus said, “Do not worry...”, yet there is an epidemic of fear and worry gripping the hearts of many throughout the world. Every day the news is filled with reports of disasters and calamities. Social media is filled with extremely negative and divisive political and social rhetoric. How do you not worry?
Antidote for Worry and Fear
Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have.” (ERV) The antidote for worry and fear – is looking to God and always giving Him thanks! Praise and thanksgiving brings joy and peace. When you give thanks to God for His goodness and all His blessings it puts your focus on Him instead of all the troubles and problems in the world.
In Everything Give Thanks
Having a thankful heart is the remedy for fear and worry. No matter what you’re facing and regardless of the circumstances you must choose to maintain an attitude of gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Notice it doesn’t say we are to be thankful for everything , but in the middle of everything we are to “give thanks”!
Giving Thanks is a Choice
Being thankful is a CHOICE. We may not feel like giving thanks, but if we want to defeat the spirit of fear and worry that tries to infect us and cripple us we must choose to “GIVE THANKS”.
3 Keys to Staying Thankful
So, how do we keep a thankful heart in such a discouraging world? How do we counter the spirit of worry and fear that tries to come upon us?
First, keep your trust in the Lord. Isaiah 26:3 says, “He will keep in perfect peace all who trust in Him, all whose thoughts are fixed on Him!” In other words peace comes from God, and specifically from trusting Him and keeping focused on Him.
Second, it is important for you to realize that the enemy is using the evil and negative things of this world to discourage you. Satan is the god of this world (2Corinthians 4:4) and the author of confusion. On a daily basis he influences the systems of the world to mislead, overstate, and create fear and confusion. He wants to get you focused on all the negative things of the world and off of God. If you don’t resist the temptation to get caught up in all the negative news you will become filled with worry and fear.
Third, choose to rejoice. The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) Paul said, “Rejoice and again I say rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4) Joy is a choice.
I want to encourage you to choose JOY AND THANKSGIVING over WORRY AND FEAR. I think it’s very appropriate for us to be reminded of this very powerful truth from God’s Word as we prepare to celebrate what I believe to be a very important holiday in America – Thanksgiving is a day set aside to give thanks to the creator and one His provides and protects.
It’s a Matter of Perspective – what is yours?
We live in a fallen world, but God is good, and His goodness to us is greater than all of the works of darkness and negative world events. The “world” wants you to focus on all the negative. If you take your eyes off of Jesus and get your focus on the evil of this world it’s easy to become discouraged and anxious. Stay focused on Jesus – it really is a matter of perspective. What is yours?
We have so much to be thankful for and more than enough reason to be praising Him. There may be some troubling things going on in the world. You may be in a difficult and trying situation – yet you can still choose to give Him thanks. You just need to put everything into perspective. “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17) Wow – Nothing we endure in this world compares to the eternal things before us. It is a matter of perspective.
Experience God’s Peace
Having a thankful heart changes your perspective. Praise and thanksgiving are a powerful weapon against the devil. Don’t worry choose to rejoice and be thankful when you do Philippians 4:7 tells us the results, “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.” Why not start every day saying thanks for something.