“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Thanksgiving is such a special holiday. Not only do I love the holiday itself and everything that goes with it, but it was surrounding Thanksgiving years ago that I learned more than ever the value of giving thanks in very difficult circumstances.
My husband and I had been anticipating the arrival of our second son, when one night I awoke because my water had broken… 3 months early. We rushed to the hospital, in a state of shock. The doctor’s report was not encouraging. But we prayed that God would help us and watch over our baby boy, and that somehow, I would stay pregnant (claiming the promise of Mark 11:24).
By God’s power, and against the odds, I stayed pregnant in the hospital for 32 days after my water broke: a miracle! The morning that I went into labor a 2 nd time, God impressed on me Philippians 4:6, that no matter what happened I should not be anxious, but trust in Him with a thankful heart. The following weeks in the NICU were excruciatingly difficult, but I purposed to thank God, many times through tears, that my baby would do well. On Thanksgiving Day, after 79 days in the hospital, we brought home our perfect and healthy baby boy. We were exceedingly thankful!
Why, dear mama, should we strive to be thankful in tough times? It certainly is not my natural reaction to difficulty.
I believe that giving thanks is an act of faith; It’s calling out those things that are not, as though they were (Romans 4:17b); It’s trusting God with the outcome when the present situation is bleak. And somehow, as you lay out your requests before God and thank Him, a supernatural PEACE washes over you (Philippians 4:7)!
In the darkest times in life, God says that He will be with us, He will comfort us, He will bless us to overflowing, and He will surround us with goodness and love (Psalm 23:4-6). God can even make our places of sorrow and trouble into places of ‘refreshing springs… clothed with blessings” (Psalm 84:5-6 (NLT))! Now, that is a reason to give thanks!
- Are you going through a tough season? What can you give thanks for, in faith, during the season you’re in? Ask God to give you an extra measure of faith to trust him more. And then put Mark 11:24 into action and pray big prayers of faith over your situation.
- Or, maybe you just came out of a tough time, and maybe the outcome was not what you hoped. I encourage you, dear mama, run to the arms of your loving Savior. Allow Him to minister his healing love over your life. There is no one like our Father, and He cares for you and promises to carry you through whatever difficulty you are going through. He is the God of all HOPE, and He will lift you up.