Can You Find It?
I’ve been studying through Philippians and Colossians the past couple weeks or so. Going chapter by chapter throughout the Bible has given me fascinating insights, things I’ve never understood or seen before.
I can see why the Lord instructed people to order the epistles the way He did. Allowing Philippians and Colossians to connect together is like a continuous letter. Paul reiterates some things to the two churches. You can start to see his heart for people and the truth of God’s message stand out strongly.
As I was reading Philippians 4 – Colossians 2, there was one particular message that stood out to me, among many others. Let’s see if you can pick it out through these passages:
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.” Colossians 1:11-12
“Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7
Did you find it?
The first passage from Philippians tells us to not worry about anything. Be in prayer. Keep going to the Lord with your needs. But make sure to do it with a thankful heart.
The second passage mentions that the Lord will equip you with God’s mighty strength. He’ll help you to endure and wait patiently for Him with whatever may come at you. But we are to do it with joy and thankfulness to God for helping us through.
Colossians 2 reminds us to be like Jesus. Know the Scriptures well, draw close to Jesus and trust in the faith and belief that you have in Him. And do so with a heart filled with gratitude.
Paul is trying to stress that whatever life may look like, we need to be thankful to God. Whether it is in prayer, in endurance of a trial, or in our general growth in life and faith, our attitudes should also be in a constant state of thanksgiving to God.
The more time we spend thinking about the things we are grateful and thankful to God for, the closer we will be to Him. Our lives are purposefully designed to bring Him glory. Our stories are written by Him in order to direct others towards Him. The world is designed to give praise to the phenomenal Creator.
With joy and thankfulness, we can look at life with a unique perspective compared to the world. Even when things seem grim, we can meditate on all the goodness we have in knowing Jesus Christ. We have hope, salvation, love, and blessings because of our Almighty God. We have provisions, strength, and justice. We are connected to a God that actually wants to hear our prayers and help us.
It’s easy to get caught in a trap of discouragement, complaints, and dissatisfaction. But when we foster an attitude of thankfulness in our lives, it allows us to hold onto the hope we have now in this life, and in our continued eternal life to come. As followers of Jesus, we have a plethora of things to be thankful for. Some days it may be hard to think of. If you’re caught in a season like this, go back to the basics. Be thankful for the breath you have in your lungs, for the body parts that you do have and/or that are working well. Be thankful for the shelter, clothes, and food that you have. Be thankful for friends and family that care about and love you. Be thankful for the beauty of nature around you. For the animals that greet you and make you laugh with their silly motions.
I could go on and on. On days that I’m struggling, I look around the room I’m sitting in and can always find something to be thankful for and to praise God for. It’s a practice a friend taught me years ago that I’ve done to this day. Some days are easy and natural. Some days are hard, but in any and all seasons, there’s always something.
So, I challenge you this week. Find three things each day that you are thankful for. They have to be different each day. Then turn that thanks back to the Lord and give Him the praise for having/doing that in your life. Let’s see what He does with your intentional heart.