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November 5, 2013

November 5, 2013

"Be Thankful, Even in Tough Times" 

“May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord.  I say it again: Rejoice!”  Philippians 4:4 TEV 

Can you be joyful in all the circumstances that you face?  It may sound like a hard thing to do.  Yet that’s exactly what the Bible challenges you to do as you read in our verse for today. 

Now you may think that Paul's life is easy and everything is going well so he can say that without problems.  When he wrote those words he was in jail; he might be nearing the end of his life.  So he writes them in the midst of great uncertainty.   

Here are some things Paul learned along the way from following Jesus:  

  • Don’t worry about anything – worry doesn’t change anything.  It’s stewing without doing.  The good news is that worry is a learned response not an innate one.  You learn it from those who love you and those whom you love.  But anything you learn can be unlearned.
  • Pray about everything – instead of worrying use that time to pray instead.  How would your life change if you prayed as much as you worried?  Would you have a lot less time for worry and more for a relationship with Jesus.  God is concerned about every aspect of your life, not just the church side.  So rather than worrying, give the concerns over to God?
  • Thank God in all things – whenever you pray always begin with thanksgiving.  The healthiest human emotion is not love but gratitude.  Being grateful actually increases your immunities, making you less susceptible to illness.  People who are grateful are happy, while those who are ungrateful are often not.  
  • Think about the right things – to reduce the stress in your life, you must change the way you think.  The way you think determines how you feel.  And the way you feel determines how you act which is why the Bible teaches that if you want to change your life, you need to change what you’re thinking about.   
Paul says when you do this:  “You will experience God’s peace which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will keep your thoughts and your heart quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.” 

Want to improve your life?  This is something that will help you.  The only question is, will you apply it or will you choose to worry? 

Peace in the Lord, 
Pastor Don