Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. - Psalm 127:1-2
Staying on this verse an extra day or two because God is really talking to me about being anxious. This past spring was been a particularly anxious time for me. Despite my knowledge of scripture and my experience as a counselor, the enemy still got a foothold in an area of weakness for me. I’m frustrated I let him, but want to be sure I saturate my heart with the truths He wants me to hear. So, if God wants me to stick around here for a little bit to wash me in these truths again, I’m happy to hang out with Him.
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. - Philippians 4:6-8
After He reminds us there is nothing we should be anxious about - NO thing should cause our hearts to worry - He tells us what we should do instead: pray. We are to bring our requests before Him and lay them at His feet. But here’s the important part - we aren’t just supposed to pray, we are to pray with a thankful heart.
Praying with a thankful heart means focusing our prayers on all the blessings He has brought into our lives. It even means thanking Him for allowing the anxiety producing trials that we face. Whatever brought us to the place of fear ~ we should be thanking Him even for that. He allowed it for a reason, and He plans to use it for your good. Perhaps He wants to grow your compassion, He wants to teach you, He wants you impact others for the Kingdom. When we pray with a heart that is thankful for everything God allows into our lives ~ good, bad, or otherwise ~ we take the focus off our expectations and we put them back on Him.
One of the greatest strategies I’ve learned for battling those anxious thoughts is to just start thanking Him for all has done in my life. I’ve learned to recognize when those thoughts come, and I immediately shift my thinking to all that I have to be thankful for. Before I even place my request before Him, I spend time thanking Him for how He has blessed my life. When we remind ourselves of all the ways He has been faithful to provide for us, to bless us, to show up when we didn’t think there was a way, our problems shrink and our peace grows.
It is when I fail to be thankful that I fail to battle the anxious thoughts. When my desire for the thing that is causing my fear to surface grows to overwhelm me, I struggle to be thankful. When I fail to spend time acknowledging His goodness in my life, I forget how good He truly is. When I forget how good He is, I don’t believe He will rescue me from my current trial. This has been my downfall.
Our God calls us to glorify Him above all things. We glorify Him when we spend time meditating on all that He has done for us. When we spend more time thinking those anxious thoughts, we are glorifying ourselves. We’ll never find the peace that surpasses all understanding if we fail at this one thing. Get the focus of if you and glorify Him with your gratitude.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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