I get a daily devotional in my email and boy does it have some profound things to say. This one I got the other day and boy how it summed up what I need to hear last year. I printed it off, which I do with ones that really touch me so I can look back on them later. Anyways I thought I would share it with you because maybe you will get as much out of it as I did. Tough times will always happen in our lives but being able to get through those tough times with thankfulness makes a world of difference than being bitter.
How to Be Thankful in Tough Times
by Rick Warren
Don?t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
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1. Don?t worry about anything. Worrying doesn?t change anything. It?s stewing without doing. There?s no such thing as born worriers; worry is a learned response. You learned it from your parents. You learned it from your peers. You learned it from experience. That?s good news. The fact that worry is learned means it can also be unlearned. Jesus says, ?So don?t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today?s trouble is enough for today? (Matthew 6:34 NLT).
2. Pray about everything. Use the time you?ve spent worrying for praying. If you prayed as much as you worried, you?d have a whole lot less to worry about. Some people think God only cares about religious things, such as how many people I invite to church or my tithing. Is God interested in car payments? Yes. He?s interested in every detail of your life. That means you can take any problem you face to God.
3. Thank God in all things. Whenever you pray, you should always pray with thanksgiving. The healthiest human emotion is not love, but gratitude. It actually increases your immunities; it makes you more resistant to stress and less susceptible to illness. People who are grateful are happy. But people who are ungrateful are miserable because nothing makes them happy. They?re never satisfied; it?s never good enough. So if you cultivate the attitude of gratitude, of being thankful in everything, it reduces stress in your life.
4. Think about the right things. If you want to reduce the level of stress in your life, you must change the way you think. The way you think determines how you feel, and the way you feel determines how you act. So if you want to change your life, you need to change what you?re thinking about.
This involves a deliberate, conscious choice where you change the channels. You choose to think about the right things: focus on the positive and on God?s Word. Why? Because the root cause of stress is the way you choose to think.
When we no longer worry, when we pray about everything, when we give thanks, when we focus on the right things, the apostle Paul tells us the result is, ?The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus? (Philippians 4:7 NLT).
What a guarantee! He is guaranteeing peace of mind.
I know I tend to worry more often than I should, but I have seen lately when I give my worries right to God (finances, my moms health, my kids) he gives me peace and my eyes are open to what I should be thankful for. It’s such a wonderful feeling.
I hope this post touches at least one of my readers and that it will help each one of you to realize if we can give thanks during the tough times then half the battle has already been won!