Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Not sure what to do today? Don’t know which direction to go in or where to start? In today’s passage, Paul has given us a tremendous “to do” list. In fact, he is emphatic about our doing it. He uses the words “always”, “continually” and “in all circumstances.” Look at what he says we should do. “Be joyful always!” We think of joy as an emotion but, in fact, many times joy is an act of the will. We can choose to see the glass half full, the trip almost finished, hope right around the corner. We can choose hope and experience the presence of Christ in our life which will result in joy! Paul then says, “Pray continually.” Prayer is more than an occasional ritual. It is the communication that comes out of a vibrant, authentic relationship. It is a conversation with the living God that goes on all day. God really is with us and we talk to Him and hear from Him. Finally, Paul writes, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” Giving thanks is that expression of gratitude we give to God when we decide to give Him the glory for the good around us and trust Him with the bad. When things go right, we praise Him and when we are not sure about our circumstances and are upset, it is the voice of reason that says, “I thank you, God, that you are trustworthy.” Today add to your list of these important things to do: be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances.
Father, above all else today, I choose to be joyful. I also commit myself to pray throughout the day as things come to my mind. And Father, today I will deliberately be conscious of giving You thanks in all my circumstances. Help me to this end. In Jesus’ name.
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