Marc Phun writing about the peace of God following thankfulness in our everyday walk with Christ.
Wow. I’m sure most of us stuffed ourselves with more food than usual this week. What a wonderful time of the year to be full and warm as the cold of Winter approaches. Stuffed turkey, mashed taters, yams, greens, pies, brownies, pumpkin everything, hot cocoa… the works. I love food but more importantly, I hope that we also filled our hearts of thankfulness.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The reason we do not need to fret, worry or covet more things is because God is at hand. He has a sovereign, powerful, loving, gracious hand working in your life – all you need to do is bring our hearts to him with thankfulness and humility. He hears, He works, He moves. We just have to sit in thankfulness.
I am not good at this, none of us really are. It is a discipline we all must strive to get better at, no matter what season of life. We have the tendency to focus on what is wrong or difficult, but thankfulness brings us to our knees in prayer. Paul says the peace of God that ‘surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ.’ That’s pretty life-altering! There’s so much to be thankful for, just look around you right now.
There are physical things to be thankful for like food, water, shelter, air to breathe and people God has given you. But more importantly spiritual, eternal things that constantly give us hope – The Gospel. Our sins upon that tree, the freedom of grace upon grace, the new mercies that come with every single day, the steadfast love that nothing can us away from. We are completely secure in God’s love because of Jesus. We don’t have to earn it, but just look to the completion of God’s work in The Gospel.
As new creations, as Children of God, thankfulness is now a mindset, even an identity. This world tells us that we should not be satisfied with where we are at – that we need more to fulfil the deepest desires in our hearts. Advertisements are constantly pushing products in our faces, telling us we will be of more value if we just buy more, earn more, save more, look better, change more about ourselves.
But God says otherwise,
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
We were created in our Savior’s image, in his likeness for GOOD WORKS, not for material things, not for false hopes.
And it’s not like God expects us to do good without displaying it first.
He created all things and it was good, He then put on human flesh and modelled what it looked like to do perfect good works: to clothe and feed the needy, to love the unlovable, to invite the unwelcomed, to touch the untouchable, to change the world with unconditional grace and to ultimately die and rise for sinful people. We have Jesus as a model to a thankful heart, he always hid away to pray and we know that those prayers were filled with thankfulness to the Father.
So when we walk in thankfulness, our hearts will be filled with the peace of God. There’s a reason he is called the Prince of Peace. Instead of adding more to your wish list, build your list of things to be thankful for. Your heart will be full, you will have peace with God, you will have knowledge of who God is and who you are in that. Before you do anything else today, be thankful.