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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Listen: Philippians 4


Prison is an unlikely place to cultivate a heart of gratitude. Likewise, Philippi was a less than ideal place to listen to such a message. Speaking from a Roman jail cell, Paul wanted the Philippians to cultivate a heart of gratitude even as they experienced intense poverty and persecution. Paul encouraged them to “strive together for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you” (Philippians 1:27-28).

Paul had to learn to be grateful. He found “more joy” meant “less anxiety” as one of these will always push out the other. It wasn’t something he learned overnight or through a weekend seminar. It appears to be a trajectory that reached its conclusion in that Roman cell. Paul spent his life cultivating a heart of thanksgiving.
Senior Pastor Jeff Manion defines thanksgiving as “gratitude to God for his goodness and generosity which I did not earn and do not deserve.
A first step in the direction of thanksgiving is to ask an important question, “What do I want to be like in five, ten or twenty years?” If we don’t want to be “the old, unthankful guy” or “the bitter, lonely woman,” then we should start now. We need to start today to cultivate our hearts to recognize God’s goodness every day.


As you welcome God into your week, continue the exercise Senior Pastor Jeff Manion demonstrated in this week’s sermon. On a single sheet of paper, list three unique things for which you’re grateful. Senior Pastor Jeff Manion challenged us to continue this practice for the next 21 days as we begin to cultivate a heart of thankfulness. Then offer a prayer of thankfulness to God for his goodness to you in these three things.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.