Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. — Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Adapted from the resource Healing the Soul of a Woman – by Joyce Meyer
The apostle Paul teaches us to be thankful in every situation, no matter what our circumstances are—in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, he actually says this is God’s will for us. But when our soul has been wounded, we definitely don’t feel like being thankful. Sometimes all we can do is be grateful that God is getting us through a situation, keeping us and sustaining us every day. Even when we’re on a really difficult journey, we can thank Him for walking with us every step of the way.
The more God heals our soul, the more grateful we can be. Every new level of healing and wholeness we experience is a reason to thank God. But the question is: Can we thank God before we see the big breakthroughs we long for? Can we use our faith to believe He will move in our lives and be grateful for that?
In Exodus 15:20–21, Moses’ sister, Miriam, sings a song of praise to God for parting the Red Sea, taking the Israelites through it on dry ground, and then putting the waters back together so the Egyptians that were chasing them drowned. It’s great that Miriam took time to thank and praise God after He did something amazing—we should always thank God when He comes through for us. The real challenge, though, is to be grateful and worship Him before we see what we’re believing Him for. I want to encourage you: Don’t wait to praise and thank God until after you have victory—decide to worship Him in advance. This will help you develop the habit of thanking God in all kinds of circumstances, which in turn cultivates gratitude.
When Paul teaches us to give thanks “in every situation,” he’s encouraging us to develop a lifestyle of thanksgiving. We are to thank God throughout the day for everything He does for us, all the ways He helps us, and everything He’s promised us. Giving thanks to Him shouldn’t be something we only do once a day when we sit down to a meal, once a week at church, or just before we go to sleep as we try to think of all the good things He’s done for us that day. I often say, “Pray your way through the day,” to help encourage people to develop a lifestyle of prayer, but it’s just as important to thank your way through each day. The more thankful you become, the more aware you are of God’s blessings in your life. When you go through life with a growing awareness of His blessings, thanking Him often, every day is easier, happier, and better.
Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for all the ways You’ve blessed me and are helping me today. Please help me to always be aware of Your presence and grateful for Your work in my life. In Jesus’ Name, amen.