Is there a remedy for the discouragement that one can feel when staying aware of all the negativity that is put forth as news every day? Is there a pill that can relieve the stress and gloom that can settle in one’s mind? Perhaps there are drugs available that can cloud the mind and numb some of the anxiety for a bit, but is there a real solution for those who want to be clear-thinking people?
Of course, there is a solution — a spiritual one. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Our faithful prayer to God is something that automatically comes to mind, as it should. But, the apostle said, “with thanksgiving”. We each have many concerns that we could be anxious about and therefore pray about. The concept of being thankful in our concerns, however, takes physical worry to the spiritual plane. To be thankful over our concerns is an expression of confidence or faith in our God, regardless of the outcome of a matter. We do not have to stress over things beyond our control when we are supremely confident in God’s hands.
When thankful, God’s peace can guard our hearts and minds through Christ. “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7).
Knowing that Christ — our Father’s Son — dwells in us through the Holy Spirit by means of faith is a huge uplift as we deal with those trials that can befall us daily. Our stressors become a constant reminder that we no longer walk alone on the physical plane. Therein lies the reason that we can abound in thanksgiving.
One of the Apostle Paul’s final exhortations that he left the brethren in Thessalonica with speaks to our spiritual durability. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Some bible scholars, no doubt correctly, read verses 16 and 17 as being punctuated with commas, therefore making this one continuous thought. It’s hard not to be happy about that which we thankfully pray for. Because we understand that “all things work together for good to those who love God”, every circumstance in life is something to be thankful for. As we live with Christ in us, we should be equally happy with every circumstance that works to our ultimate good.
The remedy for stress and discouragement is a spiritual one. Rejoice, pray without ceasing and very clear-mindedly give God thanks for ALL things.