Sunday, February 1, 2009

Speak to My Soul - What do you do when the storms come?


Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

I love it when you sit and think of something them BAM God smacks ya right in the head with exactly what He wants for you to do. Isn’t that just amazing? I’ve been wrestling with what to say, how to say it, and which is the BEST way to get my point across and then right there it is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NIV).

This whole concept of BE JOYFUL, PRAY CONTINUALLY, and GIVE THANKS seems almost too good to be true, but it is my hope and prayer to be able to walk with you through this today so that we can both come out on the other side, stronger, smarter, and closer to Him.

I have had just about one of the weirdest and toughest weeks this week, and I venture to say that many of you have too. This economy stinks. I mean it is down right unbearable at times. On top of that you have bills, kids, husbands (or wives if you are a guy reading this), jobs, friends, extended family, deadlines, chaos, cleaning…you get the drift.

Just this week the bottom feel out in”our” world a little bit. We had some bad news about my husband’s biggest consulting client pulling the plug on the partnership, my sister, a Senior VP of Marketing for a company was laid off (the entire marketing department was laid off), my mom has a spot that needs a biopsy and further doctors appointments with a surgeon, my dad hasn’t been feeling well, I started experiencing anxiety attacks (and I work at home) and the kids, well, they have lots of activities and things to do (all the time).

My whole week felt like I was on the spin cycle. You know that “round and round she goes where she stops no one really knows” feeling. Believe me, there were times when I wanted to crawl into a hole, grab my family, and cover up while the tornado of life blew by, but then I realized this. That I need to 1) Be joyful always, 2) Pray continually, and 3) Give thanks in ALL circumstances. You notice that verse doesn’t say “give thanks in SOME circumstances”, like when things are going your way, or you get a nice fat bonus check, or when you have a fabulous hair day, but no it says to Give Thanks in ALL Circumstances.

Well, how does that work? It’s actually quite simple and yet also so very hard. You see, it is a conscious CHOICE to not think and dwell on the bad stuff. Besides the fact that we know, as believes that God uses ALL things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), if we believe that verse then we know that whatever tornado that life throws at us that it MUST be something that God will use for His glory.

Now…I can see some of you shaking your heads saying, come on, you have no idea what I am dealing with in my life right now, and guess what…you are right. I don’t know what you are dealing with but I do know the ONE who does and in His word it says this, that we should Be Joyful, Pray Continually, and Give Thanks!

So, what does it look like if we break down a little more…

Be Joyful

Psalm 68:3 (NIV) ~ But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.

Romans 12:12 (NIV) ~ Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.


Pray Continually


Jeremiah 29:12 (NIV) ~ Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Acts 10:2 (NIV) ~ He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.


Give Thanks

1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV) ~ Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psalm 30:12 (NIV) ~ that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Here’s what I’ve figured out, life on this planet (in this world) is never going to be easy (sorry to be a bummer), but that doesn’t mean that I can’t CHOOSE to look at things differently. Does it mean that you ignore the storms and tornadoes blowing through your life, no, it doesn’t.

Unfortunately for you and for me they are a reality, but they are not the end of the world. If we can start to teach ourselves to Be Joyful, Pray Continuously, and Give Thanks in the midst of the mess, then maybe, just maybe we can walk through this fiery trial and come out on the other side shining brighter for Him.

What do you say? Will you stop looking at the things that are wrong or messed up and start looking for the JOY while you PRAY to Him all day long while you give THANKS to Him?

I will be praying for you as you embark on this new path on your journey. If you ever need a prayer, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to listen to you, then you are in the right place. May you be blessed as you seek to be more like Him by being joyful, praying continuously, and giving Him thanks.

Enjoy the Journey,



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13 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Debbie 7:29 AM  

I'm always sharing that we don't always get to choose our circumstances but ...we can choose how we respond. I write about this all the time on Heart Choices.

But this past week has been especially hard and sometimes we need to be reminded of the things we're usually telling others but maybe not practicing ourselves. Thanks for the reminder.

You seem to be there just when I needed a kind word or now ...a good reminder. And I didn't know you had your own trials too. Duh?! In the midst of all you are going through, you have been used by the Lord to encourage others and to remind us that we are to be joyful, pray continuously and give Him thanks.

A big hug and thank you for continuing to reach out to others. I will always remember that.

Mel's World 9:28 AM  

Debbie,

HE never ceases to amaze me...when we think that we are all alone (which is exactly what the evil one wants us to believe) God brings in a sister (or brother) in Christ to encourage, uplift, and love on us. I'm so thankful that we have each other.

xoxo,
Melissa

Praise and Coffee 4:22 PM  

Thanks for being so real. I love you girl....and I expect me phone to ring on these kinds of weeks!
Hugs,
Sue

Just Mom 5:59 PM  

So very true.

Isn't it nice to know that when we feel like we can't cope with all the things going on in our lives, and in the world, He is there for us -- always. I know I'm thankful for that.

DuongSheahan 12:09 AM  

Wow Mel...what a week! You are strong in the Lord and in the power of His Might. He will never leave us nor forsake us. This too shall pass. We have to stand strong in our faith and you a women of faith, and strength that when you face trials and circumstances, who turned tho HIS word. Even when you want to crawl in a hole you choose to His word over your feelings and that is what will turn the ship. You are an overcomer!

Love and prayers--
Your Friend,
Duong

Bonnie's Place 1:49 AM  

I am so glad to have found your diary!
I will be praying for all the needs you've listed.
We had a bad week too; icy/snowy weather, no car running, called a wrecker to tow it to a garage and THAT wrecker got stuck! Amazingly, our sons didn't know we were financially strapped, yet they came to visit last night and just "happened" to give us $150.00! The towing bill was $148.00! God is SO amazing!
One of my very favorite Bible verses is
"Be still and know that I am God!"
Some answers to prayers are loud and resounding and some are merely a gentle whisper with powerful results!
God bless you...

Mel's World 7:01 AM  

Sue, it is such a relief to know that you are there when I need a friend, the good Lord knows how many times I've actually called you when it was just too much! Thanks for that!

Just Mom, me too friend, me too!

Duong,your friendship has been a sweet blessing to me and I am so thankful that God has joined our paths for such a time as this.

Bonnie, I love that...I guess you are right, it is sort of a diary of sorts. My hope & prayer is that it is always glorifying to Him in whatever I write. Thanks for stopping by!

Lucy Ann Moll 11:02 AM  

Hi Mel,
This is one of my favorite posts! Thank you for sharing. I've thought deeply about the "Be joyful always" scripture too. And I've had panic attacks like you. It took nearly 20 years but I finally took God at his Word and found healing.
I relate totally on the finances thing. God and I are squabbling about this -- actually, I'm grumbling and he keeps sending me to scriptures.
God is good!
Love, Lucy

Lucy Ann Moll 11:02 AM  

Hi Mel,
This is one of my favorite posts! Thank you for sharing. I've thought deeply about the "Be joyful always" scripture too. And I've had panic attacks like you. It took nearly 20 years but I finally took God at his Word and found healing.
I relate totally on the finances thing. God and I are squabbling about this -- actually, I'm grumbling and he keeps sending me to scriptures.
God is good!
Love, Lucy

Melissa @ The Inspired Room 1:12 PM  

Oh, Mel. I am so sorry. I've been there myself and it is no fun, but so faith stretching!!! God is good, all the time. He has a plan!! I'll be praying for you.

many hugs, xoxoxo

melissa

Mel's World 1:19 PM  

Lucy, I love that "GOd & I are squabbling about this"...so true. Thanks for sharing your heart and yourself with so many!

Melissa, your friendship continues to bless me. I know this is another season in the refining fire, and although I don't LOVE it I know it is to make me more like HIM and that is my hearts desire.

lynnmosher 1:26 PM  

Hey, Mel! I can so identify with this. Many years ago, when we went through years, not days, of extreme circumstances of all sorts, I learned exactly what you are talking about...to have joy, pray continually, and especially to praise.

In this constantly changing world, filled with uncontrollable circumstances, we can be constant and control one thing...our inner selves, our attitudes toward all that spins around us.

Choosing to praise the Lord in all things keeps me connected to His Living Room, His Throne Room of power, for this is where the Lord lives. He inhabits our praises.

I have learned to praise Him for everything, for His hand is at work all around me and it changes my attitude and how I react to my trials.

Thank you so much for this awesome post. Your heart is so precious before the Lord...and us, your readers! Blessings to you...Lynn

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality 3:15 PM  

Hi, Mel, sorry for your rough week. I've been there too & you are doing exactly what you should be doing, going to the Lord & keeping his promises close to your heart. You're so right in that it isn't easy to always do this. We can read scripture & tend to think that OUR situation is too big for God, but that is never the case! I know this economy has a lot of people shaking in their boots, but we all have to remember WHO is in control & he already saw this all coming way before we did.

Hugs! Rhoda

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