So, something has got you all stirred up. You’re not sure what to do, you’re searching for the right answer, you’re stressed on the timeline and you’re feeling the pressure. How can you calm down in the midst of chaos? How can you be certain in the middle of uncertainty?
Psalm 139:23 says “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
If God were to search your heart this morning and examine your anxious thoughts, what would he find? Hmmmm, did you know he already has? Every moment of every day, God has been listening to your anxious thoughts. Your random worries – your stressed schedule – your stretched finances – your overwhelming choices – your distracted mind – your strained relationships. Yes, God knows about all your anxious thoughts, he has heard every one and he has an answer for you today.
Our answer comes to us in Philippians chapter 4, verses 6 and 7. This scripture was written by Paul. Paul knew a thing or two about stress. After all, he wrote 4 chapters of the bible while in prison being unjustly persecuted. Oh yes, Paul knew stress. He knew how to turn a mess into a message. He knew how to use all his pain to lead him to his purpose.
And here’s what he says:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything. Calm down darling. Well that’s easy to say when things are going peachy, but what about when your stresses are real and your anxious thoughts are off the charts? Remember, Paul wrote this IN PRISON where he was beaten, neglected and mocked. Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Could this be applicable to you today?
Let’s read both verses again and we will see a 3 step pattern here. If you have your bible open to Philippians chapter 4, verses 6 and 7, there are 4 words I would like you to underline in the New Living Translation.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. TELL God what you need, and THANK him for all he has done. THEN you will experience God’s PEACE, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
4 words – Tell, Thank, Then Peace
It’s a pattern. Tell, thank, then peace.
We want peace. We want the storms in our life to be quieted. We want smooth sailing. We want to have money left at the end of the month. We want our relationships to be fixed. We want our bodies to be healed. We want peace, but look at the order, you can’t miss it. Tell, Thank, Then Peace.
You must tell God what you need. Now does he already know what you need before you speak it? Of course he does – but this isn’t about God knowing what you need, this is about you knowing you need God. You are required to show up. You are required to work. But you are not required to be in control of it all. Tell God about your messes and stresses. Tell him what worries and overwhelms you. Tell him. Release it to him and tell him you’re counting on him to show up.
Second, thank him for all he has done. Has God ever saved you from disaster before? Ahhhh, more times than you know. Has God ever provided in supernatural ways? Remember when you found that $10 bill in your coat pocket just when you didn’t have any gas money? Remember when you dug for change and you found it? Remember when you got that random insurance refund check in the mail? Remember when the food that wasn’t enough was somehow enough? Remember when that tank of gas just kept going and going? (Chic-Fil-A sandwich: 5 loaves & 2 fish that fed 5,000)
My sister, let me remind you, you have a 100% survival rate so far. I would say God has done a whole lot for you. Thank him. Thank him for what he has done in your life.
I’m a words of affirmation person. Occasionally someone will send me a text just to say thank you. I will reread that text a dozen times throughout the day. And then you know what it makes me want to do, it makes me want to bless the sender of the text even more. Now I have no proof of this, but I just betcha our God is a words of affirmation person too. Our gratitude blesses him and then you know what it makes him want to do? It makes him want to bless you even more.
When we say, “oh God, thank you for this paycheck, I am so grateful for it, here’s 10% back to you out of gratitude”, I believe God looks at us and says “Oh girl, get ready, I’m going to blow your mind! You have no idea what I’m going to do for you now.”
Thank him. Stop being an ungrateful brat going through the entire day stressed and anxious when God truly has given you everything you need for this day. Tell him what you need and thank him for what he has done.
Want to supercharge your prayers – Thank him for that which you are still praying about. Thank him in advance for how he is going to provide. Thank him in advance for the answers which you seek. Thank him in advance for the breakthroughs you’re still struggling to have.
Tell, Thank, THEN PEACE.
THEN you will experience God’s PEACE, which exceeds anything we can understand.
I want to live in peace, don’t you? I want to wake up in peace. I want to go to bed in peace. And now we know how. Tell, thank, then peace.