“Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16
At first glance, “be joyful always” seems like one of those Biblical exhortations that is impossible for us to perform, but show us what to ask God for. When we take a closer look at this verse we realize that there is no way to be joyful in the midst of the ebb and flow, and highs and lows of this world unless you understand who God is. He is our sovereign Lord who doesn’t change like shifting sands, James 1:17. He is the One constant, unchanging part of our life. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8. Because He is the ever-vigilant Father who loves me unconditionally, never taking His eye off me, I can be joyful always.
“Pray continually.” This does not mean that God will look at you with more favor if you’re on your knees in prayer several hours a day. These words were written to the church of Thessalonica (modern day Greece) in order to address “false doctrines” that were being taught. It was a concern that the “teachers of the law” didn’t know what they were talking about. Remember, this is a first century church and they did not have the New Testament to teach from. Praying as a ritual is not what God wants from His children. He wants them to have an ‘attitude of prayer’. Prayer is coming before a Holy God with praise and thanksgiving, asking for His direction and wisdom, knowing that He loves you and will direct your life.For this, I am grateful.
“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you.” God will prevail; His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. My present circumstances may be painful; I may feel powerless. The Bible teaches us that as we become more mature and grow in Christ, we become more dependent on God and less self-sufficient.“I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”. II Corinthians 12:9.
Isn’t this what we want and need in our life – Christ’s power resting on us? I know I do. I can be perfectly confident that whatever my circumstances, I have the power of the Holy Spirit as my guide. I am never counting on myself. My faith rests completely in the One who gave His life for me on the cross so I will be presented to God at the judgment seat “without fault and with great joy.” – Jude 24.
For this, I am grateful.Our country began with a small group of English settlers who were willing to brave a trip across the Atlantic Ocean to come to a new land. Men, women and children, half of whom died that following year, came so that they could have religious freedom. From their humble beginning, America was built. They grew crops, started businesses, formed a government, and built schools using the Bible as a text book.
For this, I am grateful.I wish my readers God’s blessings as you celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I have many readers who don’t live in the United States and even though you don’t celebrate this American holiday, I pray that our Lord, who is above all, will bless you with gratitude and that you’ll find an opportunity to thank Him for something in your life that you are personally grateful for.
God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for my sinful ways, to redeem me, love me unconditionally and give me the gift of faith.And for this, I am most grateful.
Thank you Lord for being the center of my life; I can’t imagine living without you.