As we enjoy this season of thanks, let’s take some time to give thanks to God during each of the days leading up to the holiday and, of course, on that day. Welcome to Day 9:
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
The Apostle Paul was inspired by God to write many letters to the various churches he helped start on his missionary journeys. We know, of course, that many of them ended up being books in our Bible. Paul wrote four of these letters/Books from prison: Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, and Philemon.
Prison today isn’t the best place to be, but then? It would have been dark, dank, filled with an unpleasant stench, which we have to assume attracted rodents into the cells. The food was probably minimal, at best, served just to keep the person alive, with no thought to quality.
Most folks in prison were awaiting trial or execution. No one would have been overly concerned with a prisoner’s comfort. In fact, the Roman government would have wanted the conditions bad, so they would be a deterrent for would-be criminals.
Can you imagine spending your days in such a place? What would you be thinking? What would you be feeling?
We know some of what Paul was thinking and feeling while he was there, don’t we? Because he recorded them in these four letters/Books—these four Books that are overwhelming positive and full of praise and thanksgiving!
Paul was thankful during this time, because he knew that even in that terrible prison, he still had the One thing in this world that actually matters—a relationship with the living God through Jesus, whose sacrifice made that relationship possible. No matter where Paul was it couldn’t be taken away. If we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it can’t be taken away from us either and we,too, have the ability to face any circumstance with thanksgiving.
If you’re not sure you have that in your life, you can have it today. You can KNOW you have a saving relationship with Jesus, simply by admitting your sin to Him and asking Him to forgive You through the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Give your life to Him today. You will never regret it and it will truly allow you to be thankful no matter what.
If we have a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, then we, like Paul, can thank Him in our worst circumstances and that is a fact that is sure to fill our hearts with gratitude!
Dear Jesus, no matter what I am going through, I know that I know You as my Lord and Savior and You will never leave me. Because of that, I can thank You every day, everywhere and in every circumstance! How amazing is that! Thank You! Amen.
Here are some verses to look up to further see how Paul expressed thanks to God while he was in prison: Ephesians 1:13-16, Ephesians 5:4, Ephesians 5:18-20, Philippians 1:3, Philippians 4:4, Philippians 4:11-13, Colossians 1:2-5, Colossians 2:6-7, Colossians 3:14-17, Colossians 4:2, and Philemon 1:4-5
Here is the whole Ten Days of Thanksgiving Series so far, if you missed any: