In Philippians 4:6-7 we read, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
A thankful attitude is the cure for many emotional ailments. For example, depression and discouragement, which are the total collapse of thanksgiving in our lives, can be cured with a thankful heart. Billy Sunday, the famous baseball player, became a world-renowned evangelist. His wife, Helen, known affectionately as "Ma" Sunday, was his partner in ministry. On November 19, 1935, Billy suffered a heart attack and died suddenly in her arms. Ma Sunday was devastated, and in the days that followed, she felt herself spiraling into depression. Sometime later, a group of Christians asked her to speak at Billy’s memorial service. She consented and spoke on "Things I'm Thankful For." She said:
"Folks, it's surprising how many things God can reveal to you to be thankful for, if you really want to know and ask Him to help you. I had no idea there were so many! But when I prayed and asked God to help me write them down, they came into my mind one after the other – and the very first one was: If Billy had to go, oh, how thankful I was to God Almighty that He called him away in an instant. He just cried out to me, 'I'm getting dizzy, Ma!' and he was gone! How wonderful to be here one second, and up in heaven the next second! Never knowing any real pain or any real suffering of that type, I think God was so good to take Billy that way, and I thank Him for it."
She went on to list a number of items that had come to her mind as objects of praise and thanksgiving. That thankfulness lifted her depression and released her for a life of continued usefulness and service.
A thankful heart will create a spirit that is content. It's easy for us to become disgruntled with various factors in our lives. A man wrote that he was thankful:
For the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.
For all the complaining I hear about the government because it means that I have freedom of speech.
For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I am alive.
For the teenager who is just watching TV because that means he is at home and not on the streets.
For the taxes that I pay because it means that I'm employed.
For the lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
For weariness at the end of the day because it means I have been capable of working hard.
For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.
Let me encourage you through the words of Psalm 100: “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. (2) Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. (3) Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (5) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
God loves to have His people praise Him. If you know how faithful He is, my friends, you cannot help but praise Him summer, winter, springtime, and harvest – even when the leaves fall. He is faithful every day, and worthy of our joy and praise.
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