"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16 -18
So how do we truly find peace? In a word, gratitude! But how, you might ask, can giving thanks to God bring me peace? This is one of the greatest mysteries of the Bible, God tells us that it surpasses all our understanding. Nevertheless, without a doubt, counting our blessings is the secret to achieving inner peace. When you really think about it, the opposite of worry is praise.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7
Why else do we need gratitude? One of the greatest ways to get centered in the Lord and become empowered to pull away from Satan’s lies, is to be in a state of gratitude. Even the smallest expression of gratitude turns us away from dwelling on our problems, to counting our blessings. This, in turn, allows God to fill our thoughts with an awareness of even more blessings that we might not ever think about.
The moment we start to speak words of gratitude something mysterious begins to happen. God’s peace begins to fill our hearts, our thoughts move from feelings of anxiety to a place of inexplicable peace.
Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace more than a hundred times in the Bible. The word peace is mentioned more than 400 times, and praise 250 times. Praise is just another word for saying thank you, feeling and exhibiting gratitude. There is some kind of invisible correlation between praise and peace. When we exhibit the heartfelt emotion of gratitude through praise to Jesus in prayer, we are instantly filled with His inexplicable peace.
Gratitude toward Jesus is the key to peace. There’s always something to be grateful for. I thank God that I'm not sick, but if I was sick I'd thank God that I wasn't blind, but if I was blind I'd thank God that I wasn't paralyzed, but if I was paralyzed I'd thank God that I wasn't in pain, but if I was in pain I'd thank God that I was alive! There is always a reason to thank God!
I don't’ care how bad things are in our lives, even when everything is going terribly wrong—especially when everything is going wrong—we need to stay in a mental state of gratitude. No matter how dejected we might feel, thank God for something!
Try it, the very next time you start to feel anxious or scared, force yourself to think of just one thing that you're grateful for . . . then thank God! The very minute you do this you will immediately think of something else to be grateful for, and then you'll think of another, and another until you are in a mental state of gratitude rather than being consumed with anger or fear. Suddenly you will begin to feel this peace come over you, God’s perfect peace will engulf you and you will know that you are safe in His arms. Even if your situation doesn’t change, your attitude will.
By acknowledging that God is in control of everything and counting your blessings you are focusing on Him and all the good He brings into your life, as well as seeing that He has even turned the bad stuff into something good! In this knowledge we receive peace.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God…” ~Romans 8:28
We need to understand that whatever our circumstance, God is still fighting for us. He wants us to feel a peace in the knowledge that He is in control and He wants the very best for every single one of us.
Satan, on the other hand, wants to fill us will anxiety and fear. Who are you listening to? It’s so easy to get caught up in fear, and before you know what’s happening Satan can cast a spell over you to make you think all is lost. He will fill your head with every worst case scenario he can come up with to discourage you. The key to nipping this in the bud is to recognize what’s happening, sooner, rather than later. It’s much easier to turn away from the devil’s lies by seeing through him the very minute you feel fearful for any reason.
The second you start to feel off, the moment you sense that uh-oh feeling that we all get when things are starting to go bad—when we’ve made a mistake or something unexpected has happened—we need to instantly say a prayer of gratitude. Dig deep and find just one thing to thank God for, just one, and then fill your prayer with heartfelt gratitude. There is such a tremendous power to this kind of praying! God will instantly change your heart. He will take you from feeling like all is lost, to being on-top of the world in a millisecond.
“…but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7
Will you thank God for everything to receive peace?
Sign up below for a weekly email reminder!