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