Are you trapped by perfectionism that is robbing you from being thankful? When we are imprisoned by perfectionism and tempted to be ungrateful, we must ask God to realign our focus 360 degrees: the downside, upside, inside, and outside. Let’s peer into the inside.
We can ask the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts. This is insight that is worshipful.
Our circumstances are not always the cause for our anxiety; rather, it is often our beliefs about our circumstances that create our emotional consequences. When we experience anxiety, we should pray a thank offering of our hearts to God (Philippians 4:6). The Old Testament writers saw a thank offering as worship, or a surrendering of the heart (Leviticus 7:12; 22:29; Psalm 116:17; Jeremiah 17:26; 33:11; Amos 4:5). Giving thanks is an act of worship where we focus on Christ, not the circumstances.
David said that a thank offering fulfilled his heartfelt vow to God (Psalm 56:12; cf. Psalm 50:14). We can worship God because He is deserving of our praise. Hezekiah’s thank offering came after repairing the temple (2 Chronicles 29:11). We can worship God when He makes things new. Manasseh prepared a thank offering after restoring Jerusalem’s outer wall, removing foreign gods and images from the temple, dismantling all the pagan altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem, and restoring the temple altar (2 Chronicles 33:16). We can worship God when He triumphs in our hearts.
A thank offering honors God by not forgetting Him and prepares the way for us to find salvation (Psalm 50:22-23). The psalmist thanked God for salvation (Psalm 116:12, 13, 17). Paul called us to be thankful for the peace of Christ in our hearts (Colossians 3:15). Jesus thanked the Father for salvation evidenced in communion (Matthew 26:26, 27; Mark 14:22, 23; Luke 22:17, 19). Thankfulness comes from joy because God’s unfailing love endures forever in our hearts (Psalm 107:1, 22).
Peer inside and ask the Holy Spirit to examine your heart. How do you need to grow internally? Pray David’s refining prayer of search and surrender (Psalm 139:23-24). David was thankful in all circumstances by asking God to search and help him to surrender any anxiety inside his heart, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). As God reveals areas of needed growth, write them down as an act of surrender. Then write a prayer of thanks to God for saving and growing your heart.
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