Praise and Thanksgiving Over Fear and Worry
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
If we followed the instruction of this verse, our lives would be totally different.
We certainly couldn’t be as dominated by the media as we are. I don’t think anyone believes that the media is honest, just, and pure, reporting the things that are lovely, of good report, have virtue, and are worthy of praise.
I know people want to be informed. So they always have the concern that if they stop listening and watching, they will miss out on something. However, the vast majority of what would be missed is fear, confusion, and discouragement. And if something really big like a war, a terrorist attack, or a natural disaster occurs, I guarantee, they would hear about it.
The question is, how do we counter the negativism of the world, even the church world, that crowds in on us from every direction? Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Most of us long for peace, and Christians especially desire to live in this place of perfect peace. However, this scripture states very plainly that perfect peace comes from God, and more specifically from keeping our minds stayed on God and trusting in Him. Begin with that.
Then, I believe one of the greatest antidotes is thanksgiving and praise. When we thank God for all His blessings, it refocuses our attention from the negative to the positive things in our lives. Sure, all of us have problems. We live in a fallen world, but God is good, and God’s goodness to us is greater than all of the Enemy’s attacks.
Every one of us has much to be thankful for and more than enough reason to be praising Him. We just need to put everything into perspective. Paul praised God after being beaten, stoned, whipped, and thrown in jail. Then he said these were but light afflictions that last for a moment, nothing to be compared to eternal things (2 Cor. 4:17-18).
Paul understood that praise coming from a thankful heart has great power. It will build you up spiritually, it is a source of strength, it is a powerful weapon against the devil, and it ministers to the Lord, just to mention a few. My series and book The Effects of Praise will help you understand more about its effects. You will learn that it is a source of peace, joy, pleasure, and contentment in every area of your life. It will change your perspective.
The benefits of praise and thankfulness are too numerous to mention in this letter, but I think it’s very appropriate to be thinking about them as we celebrate what I believe to be the most sacred holiday in America. It was set aside just to give thanks and has not been diluted with things like little rabbits and reindeer.