Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

      For many, our lives have presented trials and pain. Heavy hearts and daily struggles may make this time challenging to face. My prayers are with families who have been without work, have experienced extreme illness, or have lost a loved one.

       Apostle Paul understood trials and pain.  He wrote that he had learned to be content in his current situation. He writes the above verses to teach us how to deal with difficult times. 

His first instruction is to Rejoice in the Lord!  No matter how difficult our circumstances, it is a blessing to have the Lord with us at all times.  We can choose to rejoice in God’s ever-present help in our time of need.

Secondly, be gentle even in your struggles.  Let the gentleness of Christ flow through you as you deal with others who may not understand your current sufferings.

Thirdly, don’t be anxious–do not fret!  Instead of worrying about what might happen or what has happened, pray about everything.  Lay your fears, your failures, and your future at God’s feet. 

Fourth, begin to breathe prayers of thanksgiving. Count your blessings throughout the day. You can even thank God for the little things–sunlight, water, electricity, etc.  It is incredible how much we take for granted. Stop and breathe in HIS goodness and say thank you! 

   Paul tells us in verses seven and nine what we will gain if we are willing to take our thoughts captive and turn them to thanksgiving and praise.  Our reward is “Peace that transcends all understanding.”  The peace of God will guard your heart and your mind and carry you through this holiday season.  God is faithful to do what His Word promises if we are willing to follow His instructions.  Ask God for the strength to be thankful for all of the little things.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mrs. Free