This is for the weary ones. The tired, burdened ones. The ones who are having trouble feeling very thankful right now.
I was having my quiet time with God one day and using a journaling practice that I highly recommend. Quiet down and then ask yourself, “What do you see?” What do you see in your life right now?
For me at the time, I recognized that I saw weight gain, health issues, lack of results in some areas of life, a little bit of boredom and monotony. I kept going with this line of questioning and going deeper. I was “seeing” some hopelessness in these areas. I found myself thinking things like, “It’s too hard, I can’t do it, it doesn’t matter anyways.”
When you get to the root issue instead of the surface issues, you can now deal with it spiritually. The root issue for me in the moment was a lack of hope and the surface issue was the weight gain, health issues and lack of results.
So, now I knew how to spend the rest of my quiet time with God. I needed to work on my hope. I’m guessing if you are having trouble being thankful right now that you are also battling with a feeling of hopelessness.
In my online course, Relax to the Max, coming out in January, I talk about our hope gate where we can meet with God when we need hope and to keep from losing hope. For me it’s the starting gate for many things. It’s where I dream with God and envision what seems impossible in the natural. I find that I need to spend a lot of time in this gate with God. Hope is so important.
This day the Holy Spirit led my thoughts to, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 ESV) Since my thoughts were along the lines of hopelessness and “I can’t do it,” this made sense. The AMPC translation says, “I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him.” Well, good for Paul but I wasn’t feeling ready and equal to the task.
I asked myself, “How did Paul get to that state of mind?” How do I get there?! I went back and read what was said just before that. Verse 11 says, “for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted).” That hit home because stress is a feeling of being disturbed by my life circumstances.
The Holy Spirit started to put two and two together for me and showed me that I would feel ready to take on the day when I got to the point where I learn how to be content. Paul went on to say in verse 12 that this was the secret, “I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation.” Contentment. Contentment is the secret.
In a world that often makes you feel that you’ll never be enough or have enough, it’s a Stress Buster move to actually be content with where you are, with what you have, and with who you’re becoming.
Contentedness does not equal complacency. You can find peace and joy and gratitude in your current circumstance and at the same time be working on next steps to better outcomes, your life, and your future. You can be content and at the same time press in to receive all that Jesus died to give you.
Not being content causes us to go looking for something that will bring contentment. Any time that you go looking to fulfill a need outside of God, it will fail miserably. You were made to be in constant connection with Him. You were meant to have all your needs met in Him. Life is supposed to flow from the inside (where God is) to the outside. We have been trained to get our needs met from the outside in. We look to the world to meet the need and hope that it will heal the inside wounds. It never works.
Let’s jump back to the beginning of this same chapter, “Now arise in the fullness of your union with our Lord.” (Philippians 4:1 TPT) We can arise from our depression and weariness when we are fully united with God, getting all our needs met from Him.
Verse 4, “Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let joy overflow, for you are united with the Anointed One!” Joy, cheer and celebration will come, will overflow, when we draw from our relationship with God.
“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things.” (Philippians 4:6-9 TPT)
Did you catch the part about telling God every detail of your life? What I’ve learned is that worry is a constant dialogue you have with yourself. You think about anything and everything and you reason it out with yourself. If you will simply turn that dialogue into a dialogue with God instead of yourself, it will put your focus on His presence. You’ll find that as you tell Him anything and everything, He actually has answers and He has peace.
So, let’s put this all together.
Contentment is the freedom that you have been looking for. Finding contentment will bring you joy and peace even when the circumstances haven’t changed. Contentment is what will bring back your thankful heart.
Has worry been a constant habit for you? You can get those thoughts off of replay in your mind. CLICK HERE to download the FREE 5 Best Ways to Break the Worry Habit.
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