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Thursday April 14: Receive with Thanksgiving

Scripture:For every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” (James 1:17).

The world is full of heartache. Heartaches of all kinds: financial difficulties, health problems, broken relationships, job stresses. You can name more. Look around you, and often you can see hurt in people’s eyes. More often, we learn to mask our hurt and present a “happy face.” The apostle Paul had plenty of heartaches, too. He was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, without a home of his own, in danger from the elements, from enemies, and, sadly, in danger from false brothers. He suffered from hunger, the cold, and lack of clothing. He felt the pressure of concern for the new churches he established and served. (See 2 Corinthians 11:16-33.)

In spite of his challenges, Paul knew that God was in control, and he taught the new Christians to depend on God for all their needs: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). That two-word phrase in the middle is easy to miss: “with thanksgiving.” And why should we not pray with thanksgiving, knowing we have a gracious God who delights to bless us! Why should we not pray with thanksgiving, knowing we have a God who has spared not even his own Son (Romans 8:32)! Should we lose all, we still pray with thanksgiving that nothing can separate us from our Savior (Romans 8:38-39).

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your promise to be with me and protect me. Help me to depend upon you. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.