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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Philippians 4:6"] Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

The importance and spiritual benefits of thanksgiving in our prayer life cannot be overemphasized. The Bible tells us that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). But the question is, how do you become humble? It is done by being thankful! A good rule is to be careful (worried) for nothing, be prayerful in all things and be thankful for everything. In the Old Testament, a special group of priests was appointed to do nothing but praise and thank the Lord (2 Chronicle 31:2).

There are four types of people. There are those who are constantly complaining and grumbling.  Have you met any of these folks? I mean, they can brighten up a room just by leaving. That’s the lowest level. Then, there are others who live lives of ingratitude. They don’t complain, but they never thank God for His obvious blessings. That’s a little better, but not good enough. Then, there are people who thank God for obvious blessings. When something good happens, they’re grateful. That’s little better. But the highest level is to be grateful for all things at all times. That is the secret of a joyful and a productive life.

In Habakkuk’s day, there was an economic recession. There were no cows in the barn. “Yet…” he writes. Oh, how I love that word “yet” in verse 18. “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Where was his joy and thankfulness? In the Lord, not in the circumstances.

If you depend on your circumstances, you can’t say “rejoice always,” because circumstances change. You lose your job. You lose your health. You lose your friends. You lose your prestige. If that’s where you’re getting your joy, and it changes, you can’t say, “Yet will I rejoice.” But Habakkuk said, “Yet will I joy in the God of my salvation.”

Where are you getting your joy? Is it from the Lord? I hope you are. There’s a sure way to find out. If you’re getting your joy from your job, we can take your job and see if you still have that joy. Maybe you’re getting your joy from your health. You say, “No, it’s from the Lord.” If your health fails, see if you still have your joy.

What's Next?

The only joy anyone can have is in the Lord, because He never changes. Your joy can be threatened if you get it from elsewhere. It’s not wrong to take joy in your health or your job. But that kind of joy that can change as situations change. You need a joy which supersedes that. Psalm 16:11: says, “Thou will show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy.” Rejoice in the Lord always.

- Pastor Jonah - UEC Ministries and LMF Ministries

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