“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
When trouble and anxiety take hold of us, we have traded our faith for worry and confusion.
Martha experienced this when she chose to be cumbered about with so many things that she questioned whether Jesus cared about her.
“But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
The Scripture tells us to be careful about one thing…nothing.
“Be careful for nothing”
Instead, the Lord desires that we trade our carefulness for placing our faith in Him.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
When we take every thing to Him by prayer and supplication, our hearts can focus on being thankful for all He has done as we make our requests known unto Him.
The trade for thankfulness then brings peace.
Just as He calmed the raging winds and waves, He can speak peace to our troubled hearts.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When we thank Him in every thing He gives the peace which passeth all understanding that only comes from Him.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
The devil will try to control our thinking by distracting us with fret and worry.
If we allow him to sway our minds and peace, he will eventually steal our faith and joy.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
We can choose to be thankful in every situation, regardless of what comes our way, simply because we know that God is working every thing together for our good and His glory.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Decide today to be careful for nothing, and instead…
Take every thing to God in prayer trading your trouble for thankfulness as you make your requests.
Ezekiel 31-32 | Psalm 109-110
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.”
The Lord is Good, and His Word tells us that it is a good thing to thank Him and praise His Name.
Psalm 92 even tells us how to thank and praise Him.
“To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning”
We can show His lovingkindness to others by being rooted and grounded in His love.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
“and thy faithfulness every night”
“It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
May we be faithful to thank Him for how faithful He has been to us.
How have you thanked Him today?
He has placed a song in our hearts that we may sing it back to Him.
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”
Ezekiel 29-30 | Psalm 108
“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
This psalm begins with a single letter word that is found all throughout the Bible.
Have you ever considered why this word is used so often?
It is found most often within the Book of Psalms, and mostly used to convey a groaning of the heart.
This word connects the Truths that follow it with an intense feeling of heartfelt importance.
Far too often we lose our heart of thanksgiving.
Perhaps because the intense feeling of importance has somehow been neglected as we read over familiar verses of Scripture that we have heard over and over again.
“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good”
Six times within the pages of Scripture we find this exact phrase.
If the Lord says it once it is true and important; but when He repeats Himself over and over, we had better take notice.
“for he is good”
May we never forget to give thanks, but may we also never forget the simple reason that He is Good.
How good has He been to you?
Why not thank Him today specifically for His goodness?
“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
This verse is repeated four times within Psalm 107.
May we praise Him today, and every day, for His goodness and His wonderful works towards us!
Ezekiel 27-28 | Psalm 107
2 Corinthians 9:15
“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
Have you ever received a gift that made you speechless when you opened it?
Maybe you hoped it was a prank or maybe it was just what you had wanted.
With the Christmas season around the corner, perhaps you’ve made a list of the things you hope to receive or give this year.
Who is on your list?
Beside the names of those you love most are likely some material things you plan to give them.
But has each of person on your list received the Unspeakable Gift?
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Unspeakable Gift of God is Jesus, His only begotten Son.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
It is only through Him that we can have what truly matters.
2 Corinthians 2:14
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”
Those on your list that do not know Him need to hear of their need for Him.
Give them the Gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ this season.
Then you can both be thankful for the Unspeakable Gift of God.
Thank Him for His Gift, today and every day.
Ezekiel 25-26 | Psalm 104-106
2 Corinthians 9:11
“Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”
If we take time to pause and reflect on just how good God has been to us, it is overwhelmingly evident just how blessed we are.
The hymn “Count Your Blessings” comes to mind.
Despite any circumstance we may be struggling through or dealing with at the moment, none of that can change the fact that God is Good, and He has blessed us abundantly.
Have you ever considered what it is that enriches your life?
Yes, it is God. But consider for a moment how He enriches us “in every thing to all bountifulness”…the answer lies a few verses above our verse today.
2 Corinthians 9:8
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”
Everything we have is because of His grace.
His grace abounds towards us and is always sufficient for our every need.
2 Corinthians 12:9
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
When we think about His grace towards us, does it not cause your heart to be overwhelmed with thanksgiving to Him?
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
Thank Him today for how He has enriched your life by His grace.
Ezekiel 23-24 | Psalm 101-103
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
One of the most quoted Psalms. It has only five short verses, but is filled with so much Truth.
Within those five verses are seven principles that we can apply in order to maintain a thankful heart within us.
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD”
Regardless of how well we think our voice sounds, we can all sing praises unto Him.
“Serve the LORD with gladness”
The purpose of our lives is to serve, honor and glorify Him.
Why not do it gladly with the unspeakable joy that only He can give?
“come before his presence with singing.”
Singing is simply praise to Him. We can come boldly before Him with praise in our hearts and find grace to help in our time of need.
“Know ye that the LORD he is God”
How comforting it is to know that He is Who He said He is.
There is simply no one like Him!
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise”
From the moment we come before Him, our hearts should be giving thanks that He even hears a word we say.
When we realize how much of a privilege that is, how can we not want to thank and praise Him?
“be thankful unto him”
This is the only place within the Scripture where this phrase is found.
What a simple yet powerful way to live!
No one else deserves our thankfulness.
No one else deserves our praise.
Every single thing we have is because He gave it to us.
How can someone be unthankful after all He has done?
“and bless his name.”
How do we bless His Name? Though it sounds complicated, it is really quite simple.
The phrase implies a bent knee, signifying humility and reverence.
Why should we strive to do and apply all these things?
The last verse gives the simple answer.
“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Has He not been good to you?
Has He not shown you mercy?
Be thankful unto Him today for all that He has given you.
Ezekiel 21-22 | Psalm 100
“And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
Anna is one of the women of the Bible that is often overlooked.
Her story is found within what we refer to as “The Christmas Story” in Luke 2.
Only three verses are written about her; yet, she is a great example of who we should all strive to be.
“And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”
Even in her old age, she was faithful.
She faithfully served God night and day in the temple.
Anna was devoted to serving the Lord.
“and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
But before she spake of Him to others, she thanked Him.
She knew He was coming soon.
She wanted to share the Good News with those who needed redemption.
Her faith would soon become sight as she saw Jesus, and she would spend the rest of her days telling others about Him.
Though she was looking for His first coming, does her story not sound like how we should be today?
He is coming again soon.
This time He will not be found as a baby in a manger, but rather as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Soon it will be too late to receive Him as Saviour.
What a privilege we have to be entrusted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
With that great privilege comes a humbling responsibility.
How often do we take the Gospel for granted?
If we are not faithfully sharing the Good News with others, do we really know Him?
We cannot speak of Someone we do not know.
Thank Him for the opportunity to speak of Him today.
Thank Him that He made salvation possible.
Thank Him that He was willing to die for you.
Thank Him today for His first coming, then go tell someone else about why He came.
Ezekiel 19-20 | Psalm 98-99
“And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”
When you hear the words “the feeding of the…” most likely you finished that phrase with 5,000.
What a miracle that was, Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fishes, and fed a multitude of at least 5,000 people. There remained 12 baskets of fragments left over, one for each disciple.
Many times, we overlook a similar miracle found in Matthew 15.
“And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.”
He took seven loaves and a few little fishes, fed at least 4,000, and seven baskets full were left.
A cynic may say, “well, He had more food to work with and fed less people…”, all the while failing to see that it was still a miracle.
The little supply that was available was brought to Jesus.
Anything His hands touched resulted in a miracle taking place.
But notice the first thing Jesus did when He received what was available…
He gave thanks.
Jesus gave thanks to His Father for what they had before He broke the loaves and fishes into fragments.
He knew what He was about to do.
He knew the miracle that was about to happen.
Yet, He thanked God the Father before anything else happened.
Perhaps we should follow His example and thank the Lord for what we have and what we believe He will do before we do anything else to help our situation.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
He may already be working on the problem.
He may have a miracle waiting for us.
Perhaps He is only waiting for us to be thankful for what we have now.
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”
Maybe He desires us to thank Him in faith believing He will come through.
Choose to be thankful today for the miracle that could happen tomorrow.
Ezekiel 17-18 | Psalm 95-97
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.”
There had been a decree signed by King Darius that prohibited anyone from asking a petition of any God or man except the king for thirty days.
“All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.”
That meant it was unlawful for Daniel to pray to his God.
If he continued to faithfully pray to God, he would be cast into the den of lions.
He had a choice to make.
Would he do what he knew in his heart was right or would he concede to the demands of the government?
“Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.”
Despite what was now the law of the land, he chose to be faithful to God.
He did not even try to hide.
He prayed with the windows open, unashamed of his faith.
There is coming a day, and for some it has already come, that we will be forced to choose who we will obey.
What will we choose when we are threatened with a den of lions?
There may not be literal lions waiting for us, but there is a lion who walks about seeking to devour anyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 5:8
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
Will we continue to pray?
Will we continue to give thanks to the One Who gives us all things?
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Ezekiel 15-16 | Psalm 92-94
1 Thessalonians 2:13
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
In our walk with the Lord, we read His Word, we listen to preaching and we glean from the people He has placed in our lives.
If we are not careful, we can slowly begin to focus on the words of others more closely than the Word of God.
We must remind ourselves from time to time that any advice we receive from someone should be rooted in the Word.
His Word is powerful.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
His Word makes the difference.
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
When we are asked to give an answer to the reason for the Hope that lies within us, we must simply point them to the Word.
Remember the parable of the Sower…
…some of the Seed fell on the wayside, and ended up eaten by the fowls.
…some fell upon a rock, and withered away.
…some fell among thorns, and choked.
…and other fell on good ground, and bare fruit.
The sower was just to sow the Seed of the Word of God and allow the Lord to do the rest.
Thankfully, it is not our job to persuade or guide.
It is simply our responsibility to point them to the effectual Word of God.
“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
Ezekiel 13-14 | Psalm 89-91
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