We’ve been doing a series on Fear at church for the past few weeks. As much as I wish I wasn’t someone who struggles with worry and anxiety, I am, so this series has been really encouraging and freeing for me. It doesn’t immediately take away my struggle to trust instead of worry, but it’s reminding me of Truth and enabling me to surrender that struggle more quickly. In particular, our pastor talked from Philippians 4 this past Sunday, which is one of my all-time favorite chapters in Scripture.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 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. 9 Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Phil 4:4-7, 9
It’s a pretty straightforward passage. And I’ve known it, and loved it, for years. But the reminder that the best combat for worry or anxiety or fear is prayer, praise, and thankfulness was timely. When I only go before the Lord with all the things that I’m worried about or scared of, though I’m trying to trust Him with it, I’m still only focusing on all of the “what if’s” and negative things. When I remember to first and foremost praise Him for all of the many, many ways He’s faithful, good, kind and trustworthy, it instantly diminishes how big the scary or negative things feel. It’s not some trick that means none of those hard or scary things might come my way, but it has EVERYTHING to do with changing my perspective, trust and level of peace as I walk through life. There will always be something that I can get distracted by, and begin to worry about, which is why I really want to re-train myself to respond in thankfulness and praise, first and foremost. So because of that, I just wanted to list some things I’m thankful for this week.
– My brother’s upcoming wedding
– Movie nights with friends
– Quality time with Aaron before the crazy travel schedule of September hits
– A mom who texts me daily
– A sweet intern who helps me out
– Financial provision
– A church community that are faithful friends
– A happy work space in my home
– Clients who become friends
– Friends and colleagues who support and encourage my business
– Paint colors that you love on the wall as much as on the swatch
– Cuddles with my kitties
– Letters and packages to friends
– Time in the mornings to spend praying and reflecting
– God’s faithfulness over and over again
There are SO many things I have to be thankful for. It doesn’t mean there aren’t things I’m asking for, or wondering about. Things I’m waiting on God for. Things I’m asking him to change. But even if He never does any of them, I have SO much to praise Him about. And I want to be better at praising Him for all of the many undeserved blessings in my life. The ones listed above are just a fraction, and for that alone, I’m grateful. My cup truly overflows.
Happy Wednesday, friends. Rejoice and be glad!