Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day twenty-seven with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the presence of God’s Spirit.
Thankful For God’s Spirit
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:26-27 (NIV)
Today I am thankful for the availability of peace that surpasses all understanding. I must admit that even while I am thankful for it, I don’t always grasp hold of it in the way that I should. I am thankful that God understands my times of high anxiety and chooses to draw me to Himself to find peace. I am thankful that the peace God promises, and gives, is not based on everything going my way. I am thankful that whether the trouble I face is caused by the world or by myself, God’s peaceful presence is always available for me to claim. I am thankful for the promise, and presence, of God’s Spirit who reminds me of God’s faithfulness.
Life in this world has a way of stacking one anxious moment on top of another — at least that seems to be my experience. Unfortunately, my history has been to often allow those moments to go unchecked until my very spirit is crushed under the weight of them. I suspect some of you have been there also. The thing that is stealing your peace doesn’t seem that big and so you don’t look to others to help carry your burden, and you definitely don’t turn it over to God — the old, “it’s not that bad, I should be able to handle this” routine. I am thankfully learning that anything of any size should be turned over to God, especially when it keeps me from the peace God desires for me to experience. I am thankful for a God that doesn’t say, “Oh, it’s you again.” but draws me close and says, “Come and rest while you tell me about your day.”
I am thankful for a peace that comes as God’s “perfect love casts out all fear.” I am thankful that a peaceful spirit can exist even in the midst of conflict. I am thankful that the peace of God has the power to dispel internal conflict and make the external happenings less powerful in their influence. I am thankful that God’s Word carries the message of the good news of Jesus that is more powerful than the things I am tempted to fear. I am thankful that I have peace with God through Jesus Christ, His Son.
I pray that you and I would continually grow in our experience of peace regardless of the circumstances we are in. I pray that we would walk each day in step with God’s Spirit as we experience a peace only He can bring. I pray that we would live as peacemakers because of the peace we have found in Christ. I pray that we would daily acknowledge that the troubles of this world are no match for the peace of God in the midst of those troubles.