1Th 5:16 Rejoice always, 1Th 5:17 pray without ceasing, 1Th 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Boy isn't this one a little hard to grab hold of. Rejoice always... does that mean even when the the wheels feel like they are falling off the cart? Or when Lori had cancer or when my construction business failed and I had to find work? How about when going through a divorce, or a major car wreck, or even during our current recession? It is difficult when our focus is on ourselves to rejoice. Hard times come and go and the situations I am in today will be gone next year and I will be at the front door of new challenges and opportunities. If we allow our circumstances rather than our Savior to be the reason for our rejoicing then we will be completely miserable.
Pray without ceasing. I heard this described this way once. Knock. And knock, and knock, and knock, and knock... Get the point. Never give up knocking on the door. Christ never promises to open the door when we want it to be opened, but He will open it eventually. Prayers always get answered. Maybe not in the timing or the method of our choosing but hey, we aren't God.
Give thanks in all circumstances... Kind of like the rejoicing one isn't it? Does all really mean all? Like when the washer breaks down, and the car won't start, and one of the kid's spills red kool-aid on the new carpet. Am I supposed to give thanks then?
For this is the will of God for me in Christ Jesus. When my focus is on the cross and not on the mess on the floor or the fact that there is more month than money, then I am "In Christ". Not easy that is for certain... But fulfilling.
Psa 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psa 34:2 My soul will make its boast in the LORD; The humble will hear it and rejoice.
Psa 34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.
Lord, I pray that you will help me to fulfill the verses in 1st Thessalonians. I want to rejoice always. I desire to be earnest in prayer continually, and I find it difficult but want to give thanks in all things. Being any other way is being like the one's who don't know you. Let me be a testimony to you in my circumstances so others can come to know You in theirs.