Grateful Peace

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

Not long ago I read some startling statistics in an article about depression and anxiety:

-It’s estimated that over 330 million people world-wide suffer from depression

-According to the World Health Organization, depression is the number one cause

of employment disability cases

-The National Institute for Mental Health reports that 20 million Americans experience

depression each year

There isn’t much peace in our world today.

The Greek word for anxiety (mérimna) comes from another Greek word (merízō) which means literally “dividing or fracturing a person’s being into parts.”  Pretty fitting, especially when we consider that hospital patients with depression or anxiety issues, on the average, spend more time bed ridden than patients with diabetes, arthritis, back problems, lung problems, or gastrointestinal problems!

Worry, anxiety, and depression tears us apart.  Literally.

How do we reclaim peace in our lives?

GRATITUDE.

I’ve probably read the words of Philippians 4: 6-7 a couple hundred times throughout my life.

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.

But for years I’ve continually missed the 2 key words of these famous verses….

“With Thanksgiving.”  Somehow I’ve missed that time, after time, after time.

Want God’s peace?  Pray, pray, pray!  Petition, Petition, Petition!  Present your requests, present your requests, present your requests!  Then you’ll find peace!

Not sure about you…..but I’ve tried that……and it hasn’t really worked for me.

Because I haven’t been grateful.

The more I pray, the more I petition, the more I request without being thankful….the more my racing mind dwells on and obsesses about the very thing I’m praying for, petitioning for, and requesting!  And the more my mind dwells on and obsesses about it…..

The more anxious—the more torn apart—I become!

No peace!

What are we to do?

Thank God.

Consider one of my favorite Bible verses, Romans 8:28:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

In everything God is working for our good.  He is always working for what He knows is best for us.

What’s that got to do with peace?

Everything.

The secret to finding God’s peace is praying, petitioning, and requesting, with thanksgiving—with thanksgiving beforeduring, and after our times of communication with our Heavenly Father.

With thanksgiving means we are able to say, “God, I praise you in advance for what you’re going to do.  You know I really want ___________, but no matter what you give me, I thank you because you always know what is best for me.”

I’ve heard it said that God answers prayers one of 3 ways—‘Yes’, ‘Not Yet’, or ‘I have something better in mind.’  And when we come to Him with thanksgiving from the promise of Romans 8:28, any of these three answers produces peace.

The result of a grateful prayer, petition, or request is peace.  God’s peace.  Do you know His peace today?

Tim Hiller

Tim Hiller is a former collegiate and NFL quarterback who uses the platform of his celebrated football career to serve others—sharing his faith and experiences through speaking, writing, and his work with Next Level Performance—leaving a lasting impact on all who hear his powerful message.

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