Monday, November 23, 2020

Being Thankful in Everything and Anxious for Nothing

By David R. Ferguson

    Paul wrote, "In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
    "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
    Surely Paul could not mean what he wrote here, could he? How can we be expected to be thankful for everything, and anxious for nothing? Didn’t Paul know that I was looking forward to mowing my lawn today, and planting some flowers in my garden? How could I be thankful that all my plans are now ruined because of this incessant rain and unseasonably cold weather?
    Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-34, "Be not therefore anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or, ‘What shall we drink?’ Or, ‘Wherewithal shall we be clothed?’ For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first His kingdom, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
    One’s attitude, it seems, is the key. It is a matter of one’s perspective. If one chooses to be unhappy and miserable when life’s arrows are shot our way, then one will be just that. But if one chooses to be happy, grateful and thankful, then one will be content, no matter how Satan buffets us.
    What about the person who has just been robbed? Could this individual be thankful, too? Matthew Henry, English nonconformist minister and Bible commentator (1662-1714), was robbed one night. After this dreadful encounter, he went back and wrote in his diary, "I want to first thank God that I was never robbed before. Second, I thank God that they took my wallet and not my life. Third, because, although they took everything I had, it was not much. And fourth, because it was I who was robbed and it was not I who robbed."
    Now this is being thankful in all circumstances and being anxious for nothing! This is surely making lemonade when life gives us lemons!
    May God bless you today and always!
- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Mentor Church of Christ in Mentor, OH.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or

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