“Happy Thanksgiving!” people wish me repeatedly this last week. Seems like everyone wishes for happiness. Everybody wants some. Many people pretend to have it …yet few seem to truly possess it. Why is happiness so hard to find?
The fourth chapter of Philippians. Look up and read verses six through thirteen.
Check out verse six, Paul gives three clear instructions for finding lasting happiness and contentment. He says:
1) do not worry about anything
2) pray about everything
3) thank God for everything
What if today we took this instruction to heart and put it into practice? What if today we decided not to worry about anything? What if when we found ourselves worrying, we stopped and handed the situation over to God in prayer? What if we then thanked Him for taking care of the issue? In fact, what if we spent most of our mental free time today thinking about what good care our awesome God takes of us? What would happen then?
Paul says in verse seven, if we begin to live this way we will experience amazing peace – a kind of peace we can’t even imagine. Peace that makes no earthly sense! This kind of peace is so powerful that it has a protective function on our hearts and minds – which only makes it easier for us to stop worrying and be thankful. That sounds like a state of happiness to me!
In verse eight Paul shares what to think about instead of our worries – whatever is good, true, honorable, pure, lovely, praise worthy, and right. Many things can fall into these categories, but Christ covers them all! This is not just “positive thinking,” this is “spiritual thinking.”
Further down in Philippians 4:10-13, From behind bars Paul says, “I’ve learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little … I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little" (Phil. 4:11-12). Did you catch that? Paul learned how to be happy and content. It didn’t just happen once he reached his goals. So happy contentedness is not something that comes once our waistlines have slimmed, our wrinkles are erased, our houses are organized, our children are successful, our bosses have thanked us, or our husbands dote on us. Instead it is learned as we become prayerful and thankful, as we practice spiritual thinking and as we trust totally in Christ despite our circumstances.
I can’t think of a better time to start practicing Paul’s process of prayer, thankfulness, and “spiritual thinking” than this Thanksgiving.
I know for me... This Thanksgiving day and weekend were more than could have imagined to be thankful for. Happy? Yes.......... I was very HAPPY! Thankful? Beyond words! Blessed? More than I could have even asked for.
Dear Lord, I’m turning over all my fears and problems to You to handle today. I can’t fix a single thing by worrying about it - but you can fix anything because nothing is impossible for You! Thank You for my blessings, big and small. Thank You for Your loving care for me. Thank You for being in charge of my day and my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This is a picture of our wonderful Thanksgiving dinner being prepared and set out.
Thats my sweet Uncle Lou in the back.... double checking my Ham to make sure its done just right. Or maybe he's wondering what the world I have in there... hehhehee.... Oh wait... did I see him snitch a taste? I love you Uncle Lou!
This year... Thanksgiving took on a new meaning for me. With the big family *issue* that is going on right now... I really felt I needed to be with other family that ....... well..... I'll just say it.... *wanted me*
So... Ken.. being the most wonderful supportive husband ever.. packed the van and drove us 5 hours to see my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins. We arrived first thing Thanksgiving morning in time spend the morning preparing our Thanksgiving meal. My cousin was able to get the Fellowship Hall/Kitchen at her church for us to have our Thanksgiving. It worked out great... no stress at all.... we prepared the food right there all morning in the kitchen.... we set the food out buffet style for all to fill their plates.... ate till we could pop... visited for quite some time... and clean up was fairly easy due to the church having two dishwashers. We packed up leftovers for each of us to take with us ... and since Ken got us a lovely suite .. it had a nice kitchen for us to have leftovers in.
I went on this trip with a bit of a selfish attitude... that the trip was for me. To be close to family..... feel loved and wanted. I came home from this trip with God showing me that this trip wasnt ALL about me. He showed me that my Aunt, Uncle and cousins needed us as much as I need them. *what satan plans for destruction... God turns to love and healing* This family issue here at home is what satan has been using to destroy me and my family... God took that and completely changed it. Yes.. the *issue* is still there............ but that too will be shown to all of us as a blessing in it... but for now.. we get the blessings from it. Its amazing what simply loving one another can do. I felt so much peace while on this trip. And I have to say... the life that came back to my Aunt while we were there was just amazing. Not to mention the sparkle in my Uncles eye. From the day we arrived to the day we left... it was like two different people. Thank you GOD! Ken and the boys had a great time. Ken was able to just relax for once... and the boys were able to love and enjoy family they hadnt seen in a year. We're already talking about another trip after the New Year.
I learned a great lesson in happiness and thankfulness this Thanksgiving.
Well...............you all know me... time to get back to work.... I have lots of crocheting and knitting to do. Christmas is getting closer and I have gifts to get done.
Have a Magnificent Monday.
Hugs......... Love............ Blessings,
Philippians 4:6-9, “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”