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How to Give Thanks in Troubled Times

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

I’m a perfectionist.  I like to say that I’m recovering but there are days that I relapse.  I’m also a worrier.  I think it’s hard-wired into me to believe that if things don’t go just so that the world will come to a screeching halt and the sky will fall down around me.  How Chicken Little of me!?

Philippians 4:6 is a scripture that I’ve highlighted in every Bible that I’ve ever owned.  It’s a verse that I memorized during my first summer as a camp counselor and it’s a verse that I struggle to live up to.  Daily.

I recently went to see Casting Crowns in concert (if you have the chance, GO!) and the lead singer, Mark Hall, talked about this verse.  He told that if anyone shouted out the name of one of their songs, he could tell you who it was written for and the circumstance it was written around.

But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. (emphasis added)

Mark talked about a few different circumstances in which he has written songs, songs that have worked their way up the Billboard charts. His message about his own vulnerable cry in trying to understand how to live out Philippians 4:6 was one of my favorite moments of the night.

“It’s hard to understand how we can give thanks during our hardest times.”

It’s true, how can we consider giving thanks when our hearts are breaking?  But he continued with something so profound.

“We can give thanks by saying, ‘Thank you God for not being anxious at this moment.  I am thankful that you’re already there on the other side knowing that I’ll make it through.”

mark hall, casting crowns

What a beautiful promise, that He stands waiting on the other side cheering us on through every triumph and trial.

“How to give thanks in troubled times…”Thank you, God, for not being anxious at this moment!”

It is my hope that we (you + me) will hold onto this truth in the days ahead.

  • When you feel discouraged. (1 John 3:19-20)
  • When you feel alone. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
  • When times are hard. (Psalm 34:17-19)
  • When you don’t know what to pray. (Psalm 139:4)

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