The Apostle Paul writes, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
It almost sounds like the power of positive thinking, but it’s not. It’s the truth. Paul knew hardship, but he also knew the faithfulness of God. When we know that God has our best in mind, and in control, we can be thankful. When we remember God’s plan and ultimate purposes will be fulfilled, we can rest with joy.
God went out of His way to restore a relationship with us. The door is always open. The line is always free. The chair is pulled out and always ready for us to come and talk with the King of Kings. What an honor and privilege that God never grows tired of communing with us. The King of the universe is always available to provide an ear and a heart that cares.
And no matter the tribulation or heartache, we can be thankful. We can express gratitude to our benevolent King, who is there and cares. He is our provider, our protector, and our ruler. Under his care, we need not worry but trust and celebrate.
Joy, prayer, and thankfulness are a choice. But they are the only reasonable choice for Christians.
Today, choose joy in all circumstances. Choose to talk and listen to the King freely. And choose thankfulness because we are heirs of the King.
Receive: Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28. From this passage, what kinds of people make up the Christian community? What attitudes underlie Paul’s various commands here? What is the goal of the Christian life?
Reflect: What commands are you practicing well? What commands do you need God’s help?
Respond: Lord, I desire to find the sunny side in every situation. I know that side is in you. Help me see it, choose it, and believe it. Amen.
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