The Triple Crown of Joy, Hope, and Thanksgiving

The Triple Crown of Joy, Hope, and Thanksgiving

Written By Dr. Michael Stewart

The Triple Crown of Joy, Hope, and Thanksgiving

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 

The triple crown in baseball recognizes the player who has the highest batting average, most RBI (runs batted in), and the most home runs for the season. Since 1947, only Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski, and Miguel Cabrera in 2012 have achieved this feat. These names are hallowed by the informed baseball fan. This short list demonstrates the level of commitment and skill required to achieve this award.  There are no one-hit wonders on the roster. 

Consider Paul’s teaching for the new believers in Philippi on how they should approach the life God had given them. Their culture did not like them, the economic realities were painful, division and false teaching were inside the church, and they had zero political power.  What was God’s expectation of them in this sea of division and hate?  What was His will?  It was to rejoice always, pray continually, and to give thanks in all circumstances.   

This verse is a “reset for my mindset” when I am struggling with a less than stellar at-bat against the unseen powers and principalities.  Just as the hall of famers swung and missed often, no believer has the perfect mindset in every circumstance or challenge. Amid our crisis and hurt, this word from God can find us and lead us to step out of the batter’s box, adjust our mindset, and trust the Father who is good and is always doing good.   

I also find that if I adjust the order of the expectations and first pray continually, this leads me to give thanks more readily, and that moves my heart to a state of rejoicing always.  It becomes a self-reinforcing loop, the triple crown of God’s will for me in Christ Jesus.  We all need this when our life and the lives of those we love are facing challenges. 

My family has been dealing with my father’s struggle with dementia over the last five years. He is having trouble remembering who I am, but the recognition sometimes is there.  Yesterday my mom got him on the phone with me. She announced to him that his son, Michael, was on the phone and wanted to talk with him.  She repeated the request several times.  We began a hazy conversation in which he slowly began to realize that his oldest son was calling to say that he loved him and missed him.  I wasn’t making much progress in the conversation, so I told him that I loved him, and it was good to hear his voice. 

There was silence for several seconds. He somehow realized at that moment that I was on the other end of the line. He was having trouble speaking so he slowly stammered out that he loved me so much that there were no words he could think of to describe it.  There are no words, he said.  Tears were running down my face because it was so hard for him to say what was on his heart.  Even in this I can give thanks to God for His incredible gift of my family, his provision of hope throughout the illness, and the promise that death and disease are already defeated because of our Lord Jesus Christ who rejoiced in fulfilling the Father’s will. 

As you gather with your family this Thanksgiving, choose to rejoice, pray, and give thanks together and achieve the triple crown of God’s will for your life. 

About the Author

Dr. Michael Stewart
Director of Missions, Great Commission Association

Dr. Michael Stewart served as a senior pastor in Arizona and Texas. Since 1997 he has served as the Director of Missions of Great Commission Association in the south bay and central coast region of California. He is a graduate of Grand Canyon University, Southwestern, and Golden Gate Seminary. He leads a staff of 85, providing church and pastoral ministries to member churches, and establishing Christian preschools and elementary schools within California. His wife, Sheila, is a registered nurse and they have three grown children and four growing grandchildren. They celebrated 40 years of marriage this year.


Dr. Stewart writes and performs Christian music, likes to read history, play spades and other board games, and is a member of First Baptist Church, Gilroy.

Home » Resources » The Triple Crown of Joy, Hope, and Thanksgiving
CSBC Logo

Mailing Address

678 East Shaw Ave Fresno, CA 93710

Phone Number

(559) 229-9533

Email Address

Info@csbc.com

Connect With Us

Subscribe to TW@CSBC

Enter your email and every Tuesday we'll send the latest news, interviews, and resources directly to your inbox.

Name
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Subscribe to TW@CSBC

Enter your email and every Tuesday we'll send the latest news, interviews, and resources directly to your inbox.

Name
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
© 2024 California Southern Baptist Convention | All Rights Reserved