Displacing Worry with Thanksgiving
BY: NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM
Worry knows no bounds, limits or exceptions. Each and every one of us experiences worry — for some, it’s every single day. One moment we’re cool as a cucumber, the next we’re such a hot mess it’s a wonder we survive the day without blurting out four-letter words. OK, maybe we don’t… it’s fine, no one is perfect. But, worry and anxiety is a beast. It consumes every thought, and sometimes our actions.
You might be asking, “Nikki how does worry tie into thankfulness?” Bear with me, I promise I’m getting there. I recently attended a ladies night at a local church and the amazing woman on stage discussed peace in reference to Philippians 4. She touched on this chapter with perspectives and teachings I’ve never heard before. She read verse six aloud and it was in that moment she put emphasis on one very important word I hadn’t necessary caught before.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
She then went on to tell us this is the most highlighted scripture on Kindle — and the Bible is the most downloaded book. We live in a very anxious world so it’s really no surprise here. It was in this moment she made the connection between worry and gratitude. Never once did I think one lended itself to the other.
You see, anyone can tell you not to worry — it’s probably one of those overused phrases at this point. So, rather than telling you not to worry I am actually going to tell you to take a stance of thankfulness. Girlfriend, next time you feel consumed by anxiety, take a few deep breaths and begin thanking the Lord for all of the good things He’s done thus far. Count them, write them down, reiterate them over and over again in your head — whatever it takes. You’ll start to notice your focus drift from the worry and onto the blessings from a Father who promises to always provide.
The Message translates it this way:
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7
When our stresses shift to praises, God WILL displace worry. If we allow ourselves to set those anxieties aside and pick up a spirit of gratitude, He acknowledges our intentions and responds. Our ever-loving Father will take our brokenness and replace it with wholeness — but it all starts with us. We must make the active choice to see the times the Lord has been faithful and praise Him for it, rather than letting faithlessness get the very best of us.
I’d like to think the secret to laying worry to rest is choosing praise. After all, anytime I offer thanks to the Lord, my heart overflows. So, I would encourage you to join me in denying worry a place in your life — it’s never belonged there anyway. Turn your worries into praise-filled prayers to the Father and He will continue to give you more to be thankful for.
Nikki is the owner and founder of Crowned Chics. She lives in the warm desert of Phoenix, Arizona with her beloved family. If she's not ferociously clanking away on her typewriter, she's behind the camera capturing moments for her business Charnstrom Captures Photography.