Thankful = Peaceful
Download Audio (9.7MB)
The truly thankful person is a truly peaceful person. They’ve created a habit, no matter what, to notice, pause and choose. Noticing something for which to be thankful, no matter their circumstance. Pausing to acknowledge this something as a reminder of God’s presence. Choosing to focus on God’s presence until His powerful peace is unleashed. Will we be noticers? Pausers? Choosers? People of thanksgiving, no matter what circumstance we face?
I find this truth about the power of thanksgiving over and over in Scripture. What was the prayer Daniel prayed right before being thrown into the lions’ den and witnessing God miraculously shutting the lion’s mouths? Thanksgiving.
After three days in the belly of a fish, what was the cry of Jonah’s heart right before he was finally delivered onto dry land? Thanksgiving.
How are we instructed to pray in Philippians 4:6 when we feel anxious? With thanksgiving.
And what is the outcome of each of these situations where thanksgiving is proclaimed? Peace. Powerful, unexplainable, uncontainable peace. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”1
One of Webster’s official dictionary definitions of thanksgiving is: “a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness.”
I wonder how we might celebrate God’s divine goodness today. I wonder what might happen if we decide in the midst of our circumstances today to notice, pause and choose something for which we can truly be thankful.—Lysa TerKeurst 2
One of the greatest healing factors is faith, knowing that God loves us and is going to take care of us no matter what happens. Faith eliminates fear and tension, which are two of the greatest causes of disease and ill health. Those and other negative mental states such as worry, hatred, and bitterness can contribute to various psychological and nervous disorders, as well as physiological conditions such as heart trouble, arthritis, and stomach ulcers.
A negative state of mind can have a negative effect on the body, but if we can counter that negativity, we will find peace of mind, which will reduce stress on vital organs and promote health. This is why peaceful meditation, positive attitudes, and concentrating on good thoughts have a good effect on both mind and body. “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”3
The Bible also tells us repeatedly not to worry or be fearful, but rather to ask God to work things out and to trust that He will. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”4 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”5 “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.”6 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”7 “Do not be afraid; only believe.”8
Faith in God gives you peace of mind, contentment of heart, and a sense of spiritual well-being—all of which tend to greatly improve your physical well-being.—David Brandt Berg9
Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.—Charles Haddon Spurgeon
We are never more than one grateful thought away from peace of heart.―David Steindl-Rast
We have so much to be grateful for in this life, each and every day. But reality is that sometimes constant life demands, struggles, and worries give more room to defeat than to a heart of thanks. Or we forget, in the midst of busyness and pressures, just to pause and give thanks, for all that God has done, and continues to do in our lives.
Sometimes it really is a sacrifice to offer praise and thanks. We may not feel like it. We’re struggling. We’re weary. Or maybe, we feel like He let us down. We think God seems distant, like He’s far away, or doesn’t really care about what’s troubling us. Painful life blows and losses might have recently sent us spiraling.
But here’s what can make a lasting difference. We have a choice, every day, to give Him thanks. And with a heart of thanksgiving, we realize that no matter what we face, God doesn’t just work to change our situations and help us through our problems. He does more. He changes our hearts. His power, through hearts of gratitude and focused minds on Him, releases the grip our struggles have over us. We’re strengthened by His peace, refueled by His joy.—Debbie McDaniel10
In some quiet way, the expression and feelings of gratitude have a wonderful cleansing or healing nature. Gratitude brings warmth to the giver and the receiver alike. … Gratitude expressed to our Heavenly Father in prayer for what we have brings a calming peace, a peace which allows us to not canker our souls for what we don’t have. Gratitude brings a peace that helps us overcome the pain of adversity and failure. Gratitude on a daily basis means we express appreciation for what we have now without qualification for what we had in the past or desire in the future.—Robert D. Hales
There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.—Ralph H. Blum
Crown Me as your Prince of Peace. I continually offer you the gift of serenity, even in the midst of chaos. Praise Me, and I will quiet your heart. My peace is not based on perfect circumstances. It is a peace that comes from living in My presence. When you worry about what might happen, you sabotage your tranquility. So don’t let your mind go to worry. Discipline your thoughts. Rein them in. The moment you begin to worry, praise Me instead. My child, you have a choice about whether you allow My peace to rule in your heart. Thank Me that I lovingly reign over every circumstance in your life. As you praise Me, My Spirit strengthens your heart to trust Me more. This is the best antidote to anxiety. Worship Me as the Lord of peace, and I will envelop you with supernatural calm.—Jesus11
Published on Anchor June 2018. Read by Jerry Paladino. Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Philippians 4:7 NIV.
3 Philippians 4:8 NKJV.
4 Joshua 1:9 NKJV
5 Psalm 46:1–2 NKJV.
6 Psalm 56:11 NKJV.
7 John 14:27 NKJV.
8 Mark 5:36.
9 Adapted from the writings of David Brandt Berg.
11 Becky Harling, The 30-Day Praise Challenge (David C. Cook, 2013). For scriptures referenced in this passage, see Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 6:34; Colossians 3:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:16.