Yesterday I referred to Phil 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." I then focused on the verse's command to pray and bring requests before Him.
Today I will focus on the other good truth found in that verse: Thankfulness.
Thankfully focusing on the God's blessings helps us be content by reminding us of God's faithfulness and goodness in our life, focusing our attention on Him, and giving us hope that God will continue to be faithful and sustain us.
Most of us have dissapointments and many of us may be facing horrible trials. But, most of our lives have some good in it...supportive family, loving friends, a job, food, happy moments, good health, and at the very least, a loving Savior (which is actually more than we ever deserved).
During times of trial, we should focus on the good -- not in a way that denies our pain, but in a way that admits that our life is not all pain. You know how men are good at compartmentalizing? Thats how I think we should all be when we are discontent with our circumstances. Yes, I may be upset with this circumstances (singleness, childlessness, health problems, friend issues, whatever the situation may be) BUT in these other areas, I am so blessed.
The Lord deserves gratitude and praise for His good gifts. Even in trials, we should praise Him. However, the benefits are usually ours -- we begin to remember His goodness and faithfulness. We also begin to see the rough circumstances through more encouraged eyes. Instead of seeing all of life through our negative circumstances, we see life through our good circumstances. We also have a renewed belief that God will be faithful and good to us in the future.
With regards to singleness (or whatever your area of discontenment may be), life will always hurt and be hard if that prayer is never answered, but it will be so much sadder if you never see the other blessings.
Thankfulness in pain teaches us that we can be thankful and content while many areas of life may still be lacking.
So, count your blessings today and every day this week. No husband, no child, lackluster job? Ok thats one tough thing, but I bet you can list 5 good things.
Additionally, as a single, I try to be thankful for things that likely won't last. Once I have a husband and family, there will be less girls trips and no roomate wine nights. If I am not thankful now, I will miss the chance to fully enjoy these blessings. It is possible to want a circumstance to change but still enjoy the silver lining :) Thankfulness allows us to do that - compartmentalize the good aspects from the bad...but luckilly for us, as we grow in thankfulness, it can't help but spilling over in all areas.