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Rest from Stress
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Christian Living
 
In Everything Give Thanks
by Cher Wandell
 
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
 
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus for you.”
 
When I was growing up celebrating thanksgiving was a huge event in my family.  Everything had to be done in a big way for a big family.  Preparing for the dinner would take a week, with shopping, baking and getting ready to decorate the house for Christmas.
 
Our immediate family had nine members, but by the time you added spouses and kids, we were over 20 people for dinner.  Including friends and drop in visits the group could get quite large and last late into the wee hours of the morning.  After dinner there was a time of games and music, followed by more eating.
 
As the family grew, each would bring some part of the dinner, and a dessert.  Dad and Mom would supply the main course.  The food was abundant with lots of desserts.  One year we counted over 20 pies.   You would think that we were feeding the multitudes like Jesus!  But just as Jesus did with feeding the people, Mom made sure that no one ever went home hungry or without a “goodie” bag of leftovers.
 
The Thanksgiving dinner conversation was a time to share something we were thankful for in our lives.  Even the children had to speak up and share a word of thanks.  
 
Over the years, I have noticed that people don`t seem to speak out about being thankful for things like they used to.  Our society thinks that we deserve the good things in life, and no longer remember to give God thanks for Him being the supplier of all good things in our lives.  Thankfulness has now become an event rather than a lifestyle.  Being thankful for what God has done for us should not be a yearly event, but a daily one. Jesus gives us a command on how we are to live; we are to always give thanks to God according to Ephesians 5:20.
 
“Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
 
Hebrews 13:15 teaches that we are always to give a word of praise, constantly acknowledging God for His goodness to us.  Our lifestyle should reflect thankfulness.
 
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks (confessing) to His name.”
 
Give God glory…
 
Did you ever notice that people don`t have a problem complaining to one another about almost any thing, but they have difficulty telling others about how good God has been to them and being thankful for what we have.  Complaining is giving the devil a voice and glory, while praise gives God voice and glory.  I can say with knowledge and sincerity that in hard times, it isn`t easy being cheerful and full of gladness.  But when that happens the Holy Spirit reminds me of the verse in Philippians 4:8 and I quickly take my focus off my problem and place it back on God.
 
“Finally brethren, whatever things are true, noble,
just, pure, lovely, good report, if there is any virtue
and if there is anything praiseworthy (in them),
meditate on these things.”  (taken from NKJV)
 
My husband once spoke a message about giving God place over all things, including circumstances.  He said that when we dwell on negative things we are exalting the problem over God.  We exalt the problem not the Lord who can solve it.  We don`t really Believe in God!  When we do that we are not exalting the Lord at all times, and in not doing so, we are walking in disobedience to the Word.
 
You have a word (voice) to praise God with, so begin to do it each day like my friend does.  There is a wonderful woman of God who is Believing in God for her healing.  She is restricted in much of her movement and has a difficult time getting about throughout the day.  No matter when I see her, she has a word of praise for God.  Whether it is for the food basket she received, or just waking up in the morning, she says, “I have to praise God because He has been so good to me.”
 
Like my friend, we need to continually thank God for His goodness and faithfulness to us.  There is something to be thankful for, just take a moment to think about the wonderful things you have in your life right now!  For example, if you can read this text, praise God for your ability to read.  Most of all, let us remember to thank the Lord for His gifts of His Son and His Holy Spirit, which allowed us to be partakers of salvation through Jesus Christ by God`s abundant and never ending grace.
 
If you have a word of praise to give God, let us know about it so we can share it with others.
Topic: Daily Pressure
 
Scripture Reading: Psalm 127:2
 
Rest from Stress
 
Recently I learned that a large percentage of stress related health issues didn`t actually come from health problems.  As a matter of fact, in most cases, the people weren`t really stressed out, but were out of rest!   When my husband and I discussed this we both agreed, “It`s not the work, but that we were over tired and needed to sleep.”  We needed to rest!
 
This season when the pace of daily living increases with holiday preparations, don`t let your rest decrease.  Lack of sleep causes a slew of things to get blown out of proportion.  You`ll find that with proper rest, your stress levels will decline and you`ll be able to handle more.  This season be determined to give the stress in your life a rest!(cw)
 
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:2)
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