Rejoice in the Lord always…with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God…will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4–7 (NKJV)
Have you ever thought about the word “thanksgiving”? It’s made up of two words: thanks and giving, so it involves more than just the feelings of gratitude. Thanksgiving is expressing it.
In Philippians 4:4–7, Paul mentions thanksgiving, and he also mentions another word: rejoice. This word is similar to thanksgiving because it also involves action. When you rejoice, you do more than feel happy or joyful. You express that joy in an outward way.
So what Paul was really teaching was this: express the joy you have because of Jesus, your gratitude for what He’s done, and pray for the things you need. When you do these three, you’ll have peace that can’t be shaken.
People who worry and complain all the time can’t experience this peace. Their minds are troubled with things that make them anxious and irritated, and this stops them from sensing God’s guidance. You see, one of the ways God leads us is by a sense of peace. When you feel peace about a direction or a decision, you can be sure that you’re going the right way. But if, in general, you NEVER feel at peace, you can’t rely on this leading to take you into God’s best for your life.
If you have lost touch with this deep sense of peace that I’m talking about, it’s time to express joy and gratitude again. We all face problems, but we also have many reasons to be grateful. It’s time to count those blessings today.