How to be thankful in tough times






Being Thankful means staying focused on the right things

Visit http://Godlife.com New messages every week – please feel free to subscribe at the “Sequim Community Church” Vimeo channel. Go to http://sccSundayMessagecc.blogspot.com for more like this (with captions/subtitles in other languages too!)

Dr. Scott E. Koenigsaecker
November 20, 2011
Philippians 4:4-9

A. Are you under pressure?
B. “Always be full of joy in the Lord.” Philippians 4:4

I. FIRST WE MUST LEARN TO STOP WORRYING.
A. “Don’t worry about anything…” Philippians 4:6
B. 40% of what we worry about will never happen.
30% concern the past (which we will never change).
12% are needless health concerns
10% have to do with insignificant or petty issues
Only 8% of our worries are actually legitimate concerns
C. If you’re a “worry wart” pick a time each day to worry.
D. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow
will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles
of its own.” Matthew 6:34

II. WE NEED TO PRACTICE PRAYING.
A. So learn to pray about everything.
“…instead pray about everything……Tell God what you need.
Philippians 4:6
B. “Unload all your worries on Him since He’s looking after you.”
I Peter 5:7 (LB)

III. WE MUST REMEMBER TO THANK GOD IN ALL THINGS.
A. “…and thank Him for all that He has done.”
Philippians 4:6
* Saying thank you reflects a heart of gratitude.
B. “Give thanks in all circumstance for this is God’s will for you in Christ
Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18
* Not thanksgiving “for” but thanksgiving “in” all
circumstances.
* God can and will bring good out of the bad in life.
* It helps us look not at what we have lost but what we
have left.

IV. WE MUST FOCUS ON THE BEST THINGS.
A. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing, Fix
your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right,
and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” Philippians 4:8
* If we want to change our life we have to change our what
we are thinking about.
* Our problem is not our circumstances its our response.
B. The result?
“Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9
* It’s all about trust in God.

English transcript
You can follow along in your bulletins
always be full of joy in the Lord
I say it again
rejoice
let everyone
see that you are considerate in all you
do
Remember the Lord is coming soon
don’t worry about anything instead pray
about everything
tell God what you need
and thank Him for all that 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
and now dear brothers and sisters
one final thing
fix your thoughts on what is true and
honorable
and right and pure
and lovely and admirable
think about these things that are
excellent and worthy of praise
keep putting into practice all you
learned and received from me everything
you heard from me and saw me doing then
the God of peace will be with you
I’m not sure you’d looked at that
back side of an aerosol can lately
but there is a
kind of a red warning label or
declaration on the back of that can and
It says contents
under pressure
that’s many of us during the holiday
season
We’re under pressure
Thanksgiving and Christmas what comes
along with that
that in the midst of
celebration and enjoyment is often
A challenge or two
challenging circumstances
challenging personalities challenging
relationships

challenging thoughts of

loss

they pressurize us

Paul makes a declaration to each and
everyone of us in verse four he says

always be a full of the joy of the Lord
and we say

I guarantee you Lord I could be full
of the your joy if it wasn’t for them

or was it for this that’s going on
in my life and have you noticed them

and this gets magnified during the
holidays yeah

Oh yes it does

so in the midst of dealing with them

and this or that in our life how do we
experience joy

Paul wants to tell us how

In our passage this morning

says the first thing you need to do is
you need to stop

worrying

Look at verse six it says do not worry
about anything

some of us are good at worrying
about every thing

that goes on

doctor Walter

Calvert has studied worry

interviewed thousands of people

wrote down what they worried about

here’s the results forty percent of what
you worry about will never happen

won’t happen to you I happen to a loved
one won’t happen to your kids

I worry more about them than anything
Else right?

thirty percent of what you

worry about has to do with the past and
if anybody hasn’t told you might as well hear

it from me today you’ll never change the
past

the past is in the past for a reason now
do this simple math

you guys were pre calculator folks that
I know you know how to do this

forty-plus thirty is seventy

so right there seventy percent of what
we worry about

it’s never going to happen or you’re
never going to change it

twelve percent of what we worry about
has to do with needless concerns

that we have about our health

I

was a lifeguard and swim instructor
and surfed most of my life

I got skin damage because of that in
fact the dermatologists

gets a smile every time I walk in

and it’s interesting how even though I’m
on a regular

twice a year schedule for getting looked
at I get concerned about stuff that

shows up

then I got stuffed that shows up

you know so I don’t like this then I
go what about this? No not that well

what about this? not that well
what about this one

no not that I am glad she knows what
she is looking at

It all looks bad to me

but she knows the differance

gives me a little worried every once in
awhile

but what I discover is as my worry is
for not

because it’s not this or that

ten percent of what we worry about
has to do with

insignificant or petty things in our
life that

really don’t amount to much of anything

so add those up we’re at ninety-two
ninety two percent of what we worry

about

we shouldn’t worry about

only eight

percent of what we worry about

is worthy of a little worried

in our life

but don’t we worry a little bit more
than that

Paul is insightful

the people he is writing to in Philippi
are just like you and I and they’ve

got the same worries we have

and he’s so down to earth he says look don’t
worry about

anything

because he knows we have a tendency to
worry about everything

I’ll give you a little good
psychological input on your worry because

some of us are

worry warts the idea that we’re never
going to worry that’s never going to happen

least that’s how we feel

and so I’d make this suggestion to you
if you’re a worry wart

pick a time everyday to worry

Just pick a time you’re going worry
anyway you might as well pick a time and

boundary that time and that becomes your
worry time

and for that amount of time that’s
when you worry and you don’t worry

the rest of the day you only worry
during that worry time

I’m going to tell you how to end that worry
time in a minute

and I’ll tell you one other thing
don’t let that worry time be right as

you’re going to sleep

Right? because I know why you’re taking a
Ambient and Lunesta

okay because you can’t get your little
brain to shut off before you go to

sleep at night

because your what?

Worried No I know you’re just
concerned

so pick that worry time

worry a little before lunch you can appease
that worry with a good lunch meal and be

off to the rest of your day

instead of worrying about everything
what we ought to do is worry about

nothing

listen to what Jesus says

therefore do not worry about tomorrow
for tomorrow will worry about itself

A big lump of that ninety two percent of
things that we worry about have to do

with tomorrow

isn’t that interesting

don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow
has enough worries of itself

each day has enough troubles of its own
now

if your day does not have enough
troubles in it

come see me I’ll share some of my
troubles with you

anybody here need a trouble you
don’t have any troubles in your life at

all

most of us have trouble because we’re
married

most of us I have trouble because
we have made the mistake of having children

most of us have troubles because

we work or we have an avocation or we’re
a part of a committee or there are

other people around us

we have worries because we have bills to
pay

doctors appointments to go to

We can worry about all of that

and compound that worry by looking
forward in our life and what does that

do that steals

the enjoyment

of today

and that’s why Paul says

Don’t worry

about anything

Don’t worry because

he wanted to enjoy life God wants you to
enjoy life I want you to enjoy life

it’s hard to enjoy when you’re filled
with worry

ninety two percent of that worry

takes away a hundred and ten percent of
that enjoyment does it?

Paul goes on and he says now not only
don’t worry about

life

but I want you to practice praying

stop worrying start praying

That is what Paul says

Look at verse six it says instead pray
about everything

tell God what you need

so pray about what? everything

you can pray about something big you can
pray about something small here’s why

you are very significant to God

so there isn’t anything that you would
pray about this insignificant to him

if it’s important to you

it’s important to him I’ll just give me a
small

example that some people might think is
a little funny but it’s a true story

travelling with my family in

Germany this summer and

we were traveling up to Basel and the
road was out

It was completely out luckily I had a
GPS that told me

I’m

you need a program an alternate route I
didn’t believe it the first time

so I made my way up the highway and

I hit it again and it told
me the same thing and I thought okay

it knows more than me

give me the alternate route well
let me tell you I’m really happy it gave us

the alternate route because we saw that

Ten kilometer fifteen kilometer
backup because the entire highway in

both directions

was shut off

and I mean we got a tour of Germany

because we went way out of our way saw
some really cute

landscapes and

little villages and stuff a long way it
was great so it took us we

figured out we could only stand to be in
a car together for so long right?

so I tried to set out so that
each day we only have so many miles to

travel so much time in the car

well now with an alternate route we
doubled the amount of time

that we were

on the road

and when we

drove into Basel they were having a
big festival which was great for us

in terms of fun

awful for us in terms of parking

my little GPS told me right where
to go

and so we’ve got to park in this parking
garage to get near our hotel

because our hotel is in the old part of
Basel and of course it’s all quadrant

off

to of motor vehicles only pedestrians
Right?

and we’re waiting

in this really long lines just
to get into the parking

Garage right

it if we can get in this parking garage
then next place to park is

over a mile away and that means parking

dragging all of our stuff to our hotel

so as we wait in line I prayed a prayer
Lord

you know I’m about to strangle the two
children in the back of this car

no I didn’t pray that

I said Lord

you know we’re all a little tired and I
want to have fun today

and you know I know it’s a little thing
but could you just give us

A parking space in this garage

and as soon as I pray that I thought

That’s

not a very faithful prayer because I’m
concerned

let’s see I’m trying to calculate while
we’re waiting in line

had how to get to the other garage right
if so we’re waiting and we’re waiting

and

finally we have to pay our
money and we go in and I and

Lord even if it’s on the very
top just

so as we get in and we passed the
elevator doors and make the first

right-hand turn somebody right there
pulls out right in front of us

and we are able the park

to the surprise of everybody
in the cars behind us

and I turned around and I said everybody
in a car I said you don’t think that’s a

God thing

it is

and of course were able to
unload our stuff and go to our hotel and

all was good

now some people might say you know

I don’t know if of you should waste any prayers
On a parking lot

but when you’re at the end of your
rope

and you need a parking space God says

if it’s important to you it’s important
to me and I tell you at that moment it

was really important to me

I was getting a little cranky I was
hungry

it can be something large or it can be
something small

notice

Paul says don’t worry about

anything pray about everything

pray about everything

listen what Peter says he says unload
all of your worries on him since he’s

looking after you

and I like that translation unload your
worry here’s an interesting thought

I’ll bet you never knew this

Being a Christian and coming to church is very
good for your health

doctors have discovered that churchgoers
live five point seven years longer

than not church goers

as a Christian you live five point seven
years longer than you would have if you

didn’t become a Christian and go to church

now that

begs the question why do we live longer
I think it’s this issue because we’re

Allowed to unload

our worry and stress onto God

and we know statistically
that the more you worry and the more

stressed out you are that shortens your
life that does not lengthen your life

what lengthens your life is unloading
your worries on to God and he’s got

big shoulders

and

he invites us to unload

the big stuff as well as the little
stuff

don’t worry about anything pray about
everything an as you know by the way

when you have your worry time end it
with prayer

and you know you’ll notice is

your worry time will become shorter and
shorter

and you’ll leave that time of worry a
little more hopeful that God’s involved

give got a chance to prove himself to
you

by praying about what you need

as you pray don’t forget to thank him

for everything

and thank him for all that he has done
that’s an attitude of gratitude isn’t it?

absolutely

thanking God for all that you have
it’s thanksgiving is coming

Up what do we do we count our
blessings

that’s counting our blessings being
thankful to God is not just what we do at

Thanksgiving time we ought to do it on a
regular basis we ought to do it on a

daily basis

we ought to have an attitude

of gratitude

towards God we should thank him for all
that he has done

For us all that he will do for us

let’s look at the thanksgiving
passage

first Thessalonians five eighteen

give thanks in

all circumstances

this is God’s will for you in Christ
Jesus now I want you to notice

the emphasis that I put on the reading

Paul says that you’re to thank

God

in the midst

of any circumstance that you find
yourself not for

every circumstance

that you find yourself in

there are things in this planet that we
should not

thank God for because they’re not Godly
things

but they are things that happen in this
world we should never thank God for

evil

we should never thank God for sin we
should never thank God for injustice we

should never thank God for disease

we should never thank God for poverty

because those are not God’s things

Paul is very clear but in the midst of
those things

we should thank God

we should thank God in the midst of
those circumstances you’re going to go

to

a party or event or several parties or
events and when you get there there’s

going to be some

They’re going to be there

and they’re going to be a little
challenging for you

and you’re going to

greet them and then walk into the other
room for the rest of the night

you’re going to sit down at the table and
you’re going to make sure that there are

at the other end of the table in fact
you even put children between you and

them

just so you don’t have to talk to them

there’s a lot of worry and stress that
comes with the holidays

some of it’s relationships

Some of it is emotion

your going to come into the holidays and your
going to grieve the loss of a loved one

and I’m supposed to be

thankful for that no you’re not supposed
to be thankful for that

you’re called to be thankful in the
midst of your grieving

reason you grieve in many cases is
because of something positive

the impact of that person

there may be some circumstances

That you are going to have trouble thanking God for
maybe you want to buy a present for this

Person or that person and you don’t
have any money

and gee am I supposed to be thankful for
God that I don’t have any money

you’re supposed to be thankful for God
in the midst of the fact that you don’t

have any money

or your health

isn’t what it used to be or could be

and whatever it is it’s not an issue of
for it’s an issue of in

and when we thank God in the midst of
the worries and the challenges and the

stresses and the lacking of life

We’re reminded that first of all God does
good things out of the bad things that

happen in our life God is in the
resurrection business

and resurrection isn’t just about what
God’s going to do when we die but it’s

about what happens to the little dead
things in our life along the way God

wants to bring resurrection there

and God can and God will bring
resurrection to whatever you find

challenging this morning whatever you
find painful this morning

whatever you find difficult this morning

and he can’t bring that resurrection
because you’re not thankful yet

and noticed what he says this is the
will of God for you

he will bring something good for you
good for someone else out of the bad

things in your life

the difficult things in your life the
lacking in your life

the second thing that

Thankfulness or gratitude does for us is
enables us to focus on what we have left

not what we’ve lost

I’m getting a little older I know you’ve
noticed

Man I was sorting through some
pictures the other day I’m getting older

and you know you have a choice and you
know this as well as I do as you get

older you can focus on

what you still have that still works

or you can focus on what’s
not working anymore right?

then you wake up every morning you got to
make a decision

Am I going to boo-who

what I don’t have or am I going to enjoy
what I still have in life

and that is a choices isn’t it

that is a choice

and I’ve found that people who have

a sense of thanksgiving to God and the
gratitude to God

they’re the ones that can focus on what
they have left

and not be fixated on what they don’t
have anymore

that leads us to the last thing it has
everything to do with what we focus on

Paul says

and now dear brothers and sisters one
final thing fix your thoughts on what is

true

honorable right pure and lovely and
admirable

Paul says the problem about worry

is it has everything to do with what
you’re thinking about

and if you want to change your behavior
if you want to change your attitude that

happens by changing the way do you think

if you think negative things
negative things are going to happen if

you go to the family gathering and crazy
Harold or crazy Harriet is there and

you just don’t like being around them if
you go through that door going

this is going to be awful

and it’s probably going to be awful

but if you go with the idea that God can
bring resurrection

even

Out of them

he can do a good thing He can do a good work even
in them

that changes the way that we see them
or their attitude or their behavior

it’s not our circumstances it’s not
them or this

or that

in life

it’s our response to them

this or that

You cannot control them you cannot control
this or that but you can control you

you can control what you focus on what
you think about what’s your response is

going to be

now how do you know when you’re focused
on the right things those things that

are pure and good and admirable

Paul tells us

he says

and then notice then

the God of peace will be with you

See our response we have to choose whether our
response is going to be worry or faith

and that’s all about whether we trust
God or not

we have to decide whether we trust God
or not

the test of our trust in God is not in
our abundance many times

it’s really in our lacking

it’s not when everything is going smooth

it’s when we’re on a bumpy rocky
road

it’s not what happens when we’re
surrounded with people that love us and

celebrate us it’s what happens when we’re
with those people there are just a

big challenge

you’ll know that you’re not worried

you’ll know that your thankful

that’ll most likely be a result of your
prayer which

tinkers with how we think about
things you’ll know what you’re doing

what Paul says your to do the
invitation that he lays out to you because

you’ll have a piece in the midst of that
difficulty you may not be happy

but you’ll be peaceful

it’s not as though you don’t want things
to be another way but there are not

another way

they are what they are

you can’t change them sometimes you
can’t change your circumstances

the only thing you can change

is what you’re thinking about your
attitude and how you’re going to respond

and when you trust God that gives you a
great freedom

because it may not be nice or pretty
or fair

or easy

but in the midst of that real

slice of life

God can bring us a great peace that
passes what? all human understanding

as many times people will look at you
when you have a peace in the midst of

difficulty in your life and think you’re
crazy

they project onto you

the fact that they’d be mad

they’d be disappointed

they’d be hurt

they’d be on an avoidance pattern

but we don’t need to be because we have
a God who cares about us

and he cares about everything that goes
on in our life so we can pray about

everything

worry about nothing

thank him for all that’s going on

and experience a peace that does

pass all understand because that peace
will not only last for a moment

the Bible says that that peace will last

for all eternity

Let us pray

Lord you know our circumstances today

and you know what worries us and
stresses us out and pressures us in

life

And so Lord we want to lift it to you
we’re going to give you a shot today

we’re going to pray about it and

see if you can

can bring a better attitude to us

That Lord you might even bring us to the
place that we would be thankful for the

challenges or the challenging people
around us

and Lord we really do want peace on the
inside

we know that you came to bring peace on
earth but you became first and foremost

to bring peace

in our own hearts minds and souls

so Lord

Grant us our request today

allow us Lord

to experience your power and your
presence and your guidance and your

healing in our life

because we know that

is supernatural it’s beyond human
understanding

it’s not beyond your understanding

Lord we’re thankful for that

We’re thankful for you

and we pray in your name Amen

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How to be thankful in tough times

Being Thankful means staying focused on the right things

Visit http://Godlife.com New messages every week - please feel free to subscribe at the "Sequim Community Church" Vimeo channel. Go to http://sccSundayMessagecc.blogspot.com for more like this (with captions/subtitles in other languages too!)

Dr. Scott E. Koenigsaecker

November 20, 2011

Philippians 4:4-9

A. Are you under pressure?

B. "Always be full of joy in the Lord." Philippians 4:4

I. FIRST WE MUST LEARN TO STOP WORRYING.

A. "Don't worry about anything…" Philippians 4:6

B. 40% of what we worry about will never happen.

30% concern the past (which we will never change).

12% are needless health concerns

10% have to do with insignificant or petty issues

Only 8% of our worries are actually legitimate concerns

C. If you’re a "worry wart" pick a time each day to worry.

D. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow

will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles

of its own." Matthew 6:34

II. WE NEED TO PRACTICE PRAYING.

A. So learn to pray about everything.

"...instead pray about everything……Tell God what you need.

Philippians 4:6

B. "Unload all your worries on Him since He's looking after you."

I Peter 5:7 (LB)

III. WE MUST REMEMBER TO THANK GOD IN ALL THINGS.

A. "…and thank Him for all that He has done."

Philippians 4:6

* Saying thank you reflects a heart of gratitude.

B. "Give thanks in all circumstance for this is God's will for you in Christ

Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18

* Not thanksgiving "for" but thanksgiving "in" all

circumstances.

* God can and will bring good out of the bad in life.

* It helps us look not at what we have lost but what we

have left.

IV. WE MUST FOCUS ON THE BEST THINGS.

A. "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing, Fix

your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right,

and pure, and lovely, and admirable." Philippians 4:8

* If we want to change our life we have to change our what

we are thinking about.

* Our problem is not our circumstances its our response.

B. The result?

"Then the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9

* It's all about trust in God.

English transcript

You can follow along in your bulletins

always be full of joy in the Lord

I say it again

rejoice

let everyone

see that you are considerate in all you

do

Remember the Lord is coming soon

don't worry about anything instead pray

about everything

tell God what you need

and thank Him for all that 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

and now dear brothers and sisters

one final thing

fix your thoughts on what is true and

honorable

and right and pure

and lovely and admirable

think about these things that are

excellent and worthy of praise

keep putting into practice all you

learned and received from me everything

you heard from me and saw me doing then

the God of peace will be with you

I'm not sure you'd looked at that

back side of an aerosol can lately

but there is a

kind of a red warning label or

declaration on the back of that can and

It says contents

under pressure

that's many of us during the holiday

season

We're under pressure

Thanksgiving and Christmas what comes

along with that

that in the midst of

celebration and enjoyment is often

A challenge or two

challenging circumstances

challenging personalities challenging

relationships

challenging thoughts of

loss

they pressurize us

Paul makes a declaration to each and

everyone of us in verse four he says

always be a full of the joy of the Lord

and we say

I guarantee you Lord I could be full

of the your joy if it wasn't for them

or was it for this that's going on

in my life and have you noticed them

and this gets magnified during the

holidays yeah

Oh yes it does

so in the midst of dealing with them

and this or that in our life how do we

experience joy

Paul wants to tell us how

In our passage this morning

says the first thing you need to do is

you need to stop

worrying

Look at verse six it says do not worry

about anything

some of us are good at worrying

about every thing

that goes on

doctor Walter

Calvert has studied worry

interviewed thousands of people

wrote down what they worried about

here's the results forty percent of what

you worry about will never happen

won't happen to you I happen to a loved

one won't happen to your kids

I worry more about them than anything

Else right?

thirty percent of what you

worry about has to do with the past and

if anybody hasn't told you might as well hear

it from me today you'll never change the

past

the past is in the past for a reason now

do this simple math

you guys were pre calculator folks that

I know you know how to do this

forty-plus thirty is seventy

so right there seventy percent of what

we worry about

it's never going to happen or you're

never going to change it

twelve percent of what we worry about

has to do with needless concerns

that we have about our health

I

was a lifeguard and swim instructor

and surfed most of my life

I got skin damage because of that in

fact the dermatologists

gets a smile every time I walk in

and it's interesting how even though I'm

on a regular

twice a year schedule for getting looked

at I get concerned about stuff that

shows up

then I got stuffed that shows up

you know so I don't like this then I

go what about this? No not that well

what about this? not that well

what about this one

no not that I am glad she knows what

she is looking at

It all looks bad to me

but she knows the differance

gives me a little worried every once in

awhile

but what I discover is as my worry is

for not

because it's not this or that

ten percent of what we worry about

has to do with

insignificant or petty things in our

life that

really don't amount to much of anything

so add those up we're at ninety-two

ninety two percent of what we worry

about

we shouldn't worry about

only eight

percent of what we worry about

is worthy of a little worried

in our life

but don't we worry a little bit more

than that

Paul is insightful

the people he is writing to in Philippi

are just like you and I and they've

got the same worries we have

and he's so down to earth he says look don't

worry about

anything

because he knows we have a tendency to

worry about everything

I'll give you a little good

psychological input on your worry because

some of us are

worry warts the idea that we're never

going to worry that's never going to happen

least that's how we feel

and so I'd make this suggestion to you

if you're a worry wart

pick a time everyday to worry

Just pick a time you're going worry

anyway you might as well pick a time and

boundary that time and that becomes your

worry time

and for that amount of time that's

when you worry and you don't worry

the rest of the day you only worry

during that worry time

I'm going to tell you how to end that worry

time in a minute

and I'll tell you one other thing

don't let that worry time be right as

you're going to sleep

Right? because I know why you're taking a

Ambient and Lunesta

okay because you can't get your little

brain to shut off before you go to

sleep at night

because your what?

Worried No I know you're just

concerned

so pick that worry time

worry a little before lunch you can appease

that worry with a good lunch meal and be

off to the rest of your day

instead of worrying about everything

what we ought to do is worry about

nothing

listen to what Jesus says

therefore do not worry about tomorrow

for tomorrow will worry about itself

A big lump of that ninety two percent of

things that we worry about have to do

with tomorrow

isn't that interesting

don't worry about tomorrow for tomorrow

has enough worries of itself

each day has enough troubles of its own

now

if your day does not have enough

troubles in it

come see me I'll share some of my

troubles with you

anybody here need a trouble you

don't have any troubles in your life at

all

most of us have trouble because we're

married

most of us I have trouble because

we have made the mistake of having children

most of us have troubles because

we work or we have an avocation or we're

a part of a committee or there are

other people around us

we have worries because we have bills to

pay

doctors appointments to go to

We can worry about all of that

and compound that worry by looking

forward in our life and what does that

do that steals

the enjoyment

of today

and that's why Paul says

Don't worry

about anything

Don't worry because

he wanted to enjoy life God wants you to

enjoy life I want you to enjoy life

it's hard to enjoy when you're filled

with worry

ninety two percent of that worry

takes away a hundred and ten percent of

that enjoyment does it?

Paul goes on and he says now not only

don't worry about

life

but I want you to practice praying

stop worrying start praying

That is what Paul says

Look at verse six it says instead pray

about everything

tell God what you need

so pray about what? everything

you can pray about something big you can

pray about something small here's why

you are very significant to God

so there isn't anything that you would

pray about this insignificant to him

if it's important to you

it's important to him I'll just give me a

small

example that some people might think is

a little funny but it's a true story

travelling with my family in

Germany this summer and

we were traveling up to Basel and the

road was out

It was completely out luckily I had a

GPS that told me

I'm

you need a program an alternate route I

didn't believe it the first time

so I made my way up the highway and

I hit it again and it told

me the same thing and I thought okay

it knows more than me

give me the alternate route well

let me tell you I'm really happy it gave us

the alternate route because we saw that

Ten kilometer fifteen kilometer

backup because the entire highway in

both directions

was shut off

and I mean we got a tour of Germany

because we went way out of our way saw

some really cute

landscapes and

little villages and stuff a long way it

was great so it took us we

figured out we could only stand to be in

a car together for so long right?

so I tried to set out so that

each day we only have so many miles to

travel so much time in the car

well now with an alternate route we

doubled the amount of time

that we were

on the road

and when we

drove into Basel they were having a

big festival which was great for us

in terms of fun

awful for us in terms of parking

my little GPS told me right where

to go

and so we've got to park in this parking

garage to get near our hotel

because our hotel is in the old part of

Basel and of course it's all quadrant

off

to of motor vehicles only pedestrians

Right?

and we're waiting

in this really long lines just

to get into the parking

Garage right

it if we can get in this parking garage

then next place to park is

over a mile away and that means parking

dragging all of our stuff to our hotel

so as we wait in line I prayed a prayer

Lord

you know I'm about to strangle the two

children in the back of this car

no I didn't pray that

I said Lord

you know we're all a little tired and I

want to have fun today

and you know I know it's a little thing

but could you just give us

A parking space in this garage

and as soon as I pray that I thought

That's

not a very faithful prayer because I'm

concerned

let's see I'm trying to calculate while

we're waiting in line

had how to get to the other garage right

if so we're waiting and we're waiting

and

finally we have to pay our

money and we go in and I and

Lord even if it's on the very

top just

so as we get in and we passed the

elevator doors and make the first

right-hand turn somebody right there

pulls out right in front of us

and we are able the park

to the surprise of everybody

in the cars behind us

and I turned around and I said everybody

in a car I said you don't think that's a

God thing

it is

and of course were able to

unload our stuff and go to our hotel and

all was good

now some people might say you know

I don't know if of you should waste any prayers

On a parking lot

but when you're at the end of your

rope

and you need a parking space God says

if it's important to you it's important

to me and I tell you at that moment it

was really important to me

I was getting a little cranky I was

hungry

it can be something large or it can be

something small

notice

Paul says don't worry about

anything pray about everything

pray about everything

listen what Peter says he says unload

all of your worries on him since he's

looking after you

and I like that translation unload your

worry here's an interesting thought

I'll bet you never knew this

Being a Christian and coming to church is very

good for your health

doctors have discovered that churchgoers

live five point seven years longer

than not church goers

as a Christian you live five point seven

years longer than you would have if you

didn't become a Christian and go to church

now that

begs the question why do we live longer

I think it's this issue because we're

Allowed to unload

our worry and stress onto God

and we know statistically

that the more you worry and the more

stressed out you are that shortens your

life that does not lengthen your life

what lengthens your life is unloading

your worries on to God and he's got

big shoulders

and

he invites us to unload

the big stuff as well as the little

stuff

don't worry about anything pray about

everything an as you know by the way

when you have your worry time end it

with prayer

and you know you'll notice is

your worry time will become shorter and

shorter

and you'll leave that time of worry a

little more hopeful that God's involved

give got a chance to prove himself to

you

by praying about what you need

as you pray don't forget to thank him

for everything

and thank him for all that he has done

that's an attitude of gratitude isn't it?

absolutely

thanking God for all that you have

it's thanksgiving is coming

Up what do we do we count our

blessings

that's counting our blessings being

thankful to God is not just what we do at

Thanksgiving time we ought to do it on a

regular basis we ought to do it on a

daily basis

we ought to have an attitude

of gratitude

towards God we should thank him for all

that he has done

For us all that he will do for us

let's look at the thanksgiving

passage

first Thessalonians five eighteen

give thanks in

all circumstances

this is God's will for you in Christ

Jesus now I want you to notice

the emphasis that I put on the reading

Paul says that you're to thank

God

in the midst

of any circumstance that you find

yourself not for

every circumstance

that you find yourself in

there are things in this planet that we

should not

thank God for because they're not Godly

things

but they are things that happen in this

world we should never thank God for

evil

we should never thank God for sin we

should never thank God for injustice we

should never thank God for disease

we should never thank God for poverty

because those are not God's things

Paul is very clear but in the midst of

those things

we should thank God

we should thank God in the midst of

those circumstances you're going to go

to

a party or event or several parties or

events and when you get there there's

going to be some

They're going to be there

and they're going to be a little

challenging for you

and you're going to

greet them and then walk into the other

room for the rest of the night

you're going to sit down at the table and

you're going to make sure that there are

at the other end of the table in fact

you even put children between you and

them

just so you don't have to talk to them

there's a lot of worry and stress that

comes with the holidays

some of it's relationships

Some of it is emotion

your going to come into the holidays and your

going to grieve the loss of a loved one

and I'm supposed to be

thankful for that no you're not supposed

to be thankful for that

you're called to be thankful in the

midst of your grieving

reason you grieve in many cases is

because of something positive

the impact of that person

there may be some circumstances

That you are going to have trouble thanking God for

maybe you want to buy a present for this

Person or that person and you don't

have any money

and gee am I supposed to be thankful for

God that I don't have any money

you're supposed to be thankful for God

in the midst of the fact that you don't

have any money

or your health

isn't what it used to be or could be

and whatever it is it's not an issue of

for it's an issue of in

and when we thank God in the midst of

the worries and the challenges and the

stresses and the lacking of life

We're reminded that first of all God does

good things out of the bad things that

happen in our life God is in the

resurrection business

and resurrection isn't just about what

God's going to do when we die but it's

about what happens to the little dead

things in our life along the way God

wants to bring resurrection there

and God can and God will bring

resurrection to whatever you find

challenging this morning whatever you

find painful this morning

whatever you find difficult this morning

and he can't bring that resurrection

because you're not thankful yet

and noticed what he says this is the

will of God for you

he will bring something good for you

good for someone else out of the bad

things in your life

the difficult things in your life the

lacking in your life

the second thing that

Thankfulness or gratitude does for us is

enables us to focus on what we have left

not what we've lost

I'm getting a little older I know you've

noticed

Man I was sorting through some

pictures the other day I'm getting older

and you know you have a choice and you

know this as well as I do as you get

older you can focus on

what you still have that still works

or you can focus on what's

not working anymore right?

then you wake up every morning you got to

make a decision

Am I going to boo-who

what I don't have or am I going to enjoy

what I still have in life

and that is a choices isn't it

that is a choice

and I've found that people who have

a sense of thanksgiving to God and the

gratitude to God

they're the ones that can focus on what

they have left

and not be fixated on what they don't

have anymore

that leads us to the last thing it has

everything to do with what we focus on

Paul says

and now dear brothers and sisters one

final thing fix your thoughts on what is

true

honorable right pure and lovely and

admirable

Paul says the problem about worry

is it has everything to do with what

you're thinking about

and if you want to change your behavior

if you want to change your attitude that

happens by changing the way do you think

if you think negative things

negative things are going to happen if

you go to the family gathering and crazy

Harold or crazy Harriet is there and

you just don't like being around them if

you go through that door going

this is going to be awful

and it's probably going to be awful

but if you go with the idea that God can

bring resurrection

even

Out of them

he can do a good thing He can do a good work even

in them

that changes the way that we see them

or their attitude or their behavior

it's not our circumstances it's not

them or this

or that

in life

it's our response to them

this or that

You cannot control them you cannot control

this or that but you can control you

you can control what you focus on what

you think about what's your response is

going to be

now how do you know when you're focused

on the right things those things that

are pure and good and admirable

Paul tells us

he says

and then notice then

the God of peace will be with you

See our response we have to choose whether our

response is going to be worry or faith

and that's all about whether we trust

God or not

we have to decide whether we trust God

or not

the test of our trust in God is not in

our abundance many times

it's really in our lacking

it's not when everything is going smooth

it's when we're on a bumpy rocky

road

it's not what happens when we're

surrounded with people that love us and

celebrate us it's what happens when we're

with those people there are just a

big challenge

you'll know that you're not worried

you'll know that your thankful

that'll most likely be a result of your

prayer which

tinkers with how we think about

things you'll know what you're doing

what Paul says your to do the

invitation that he lays out to you because

you'll have a piece in the midst of that

difficulty you may not be happy

but you'll be peaceful

it's not as though you don't want things

to be another way but there are not

another way

they are what they are

you can't change them sometimes you

can't change your circumstances

the only thing you can change

is what you're thinking about your

attitude and how you're going to respond

and when you trust God that gives you a

great freedom

because it may not be nice or pretty

or fair

or easy

but in the midst of that real

slice of life

God can bring us a great peace that

passes what? all human understanding

as many times people will look at you

when you have a peace in the midst of

difficulty in your life and think you're

crazy

they project onto you

the fact that they'd be mad

they'd be disappointed

they'd be hurt

they'd be on an avoidance pattern

but we don't need to be because we have

a God who cares about us

and he cares about everything that goes

on in our life so we can pray about

everything

worry about nothing

thank him for all that's going on

and experience a peace that does

pass all understand because that peace

will not only last for a moment

the Bible says that that peace will last

for all eternity

Let us pray

Lord you know our circumstances today

and you know what worries us and

stresses us out and pressures us in

life

And so Lord we want to lift it to you

we're going to give you a shot today

we're going to pray about it and

see if you can

can bring a better attitude to us

That Lord you might even bring us to the

place that we would be thankful for the

challenges or the challenging people

around us

and Lord we really do want peace on the

inside

we know that you came to bring peace on

earth but you became first and foremost

to bring peace

in our own hearts minds and souls

so Lord

Grant us our request today

allow us Lord

to experience your power and your

presence and your guidance and your

healing in our life

because we know that

is supernatural it's beyond human

understanding

it's not beyond your understanding

Lord we're thankful for that

We're thankful for you

and we pray in your name Amen