Philippians 4 v 6 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Do not be anxious about anything – easier said than done, right? As a self-confessed worrier, the idea of never being worried about anything ever again, despite sounding great, seems totally unrealistic to me. Sometimes I even see my worries as essential to my success. If I’m not worried about an exam, surely that means I haven’t worked hard enough for it!
Our Father cares about us. He wants to calm our fears and give us good things. The answer to our worries? He’s got it, and all we have to do is ask.
Maybe you’ve noticed the “with thanksgiving” clause in the verse. Could it be that, like Santa, God demands thanksgiving to put us on his list of good children? Do we need thanksgiving to avoid finding a lump of coal in our stocking instead of an answer to prayer?
The answer couldn’t be further from it. God isn’t dependant on our thanks; He is God! Sure He loves it, but He doesn’t need it. No, He calls us to give thanks because it sets us straight. When we thank God for who He is and all that He has given us it changes our perspective. Instead of focusing on how big our earthly problems and worries are we see how much bigger and greater He is. In comparison to Him all else loses focus and what we see as important starts to come into line with what he sees as important. As we focus heavenwards this changes us.
Personally I find it easy to feel overwhelmed by problems, and giving thanks to God for all He’s done for me is definitely something that I’m working on (aren’t we all?!). Let’s aim to be people who give thanks.