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Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)
For the month of May, Dr. Randy Carlson is giving us, “Today’s Word for Your Life.” And as you can see from the above title, today’s word is PRAYER.
I’ve got to admit, this verse has always bugged me. Why? Rejoice ALWAYS. Pray WITHOUT CEASING. Give thanks in ALL circumstances. Are we sensing a pattern here? I’d like to think these were just sweeping generalizations. Well… they are sweeping, but they’re not generalizations. Why? Because, “This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
ALWAYS. WITHOUT CEASING. ALL. Do I rejoice always? No. Do I pray without ceasing? No. Do I give thanks in ALL circumstances? No. Even if my heart is tuned in to such requirements, there are pesky little things like interruptions and distractions that keep me from doing these things. So, should I give up? No.
What would your life look like if you’re able to rejoice always (or at least most of the time)? Even in the midst of fear and crisis and pandemic, if you’re rejoicing, you will be noticed. Rejoicing in the bleakest of situations, means that you have a different perspective. Instead of looking at all the stuff going on around you, you’re looking unto Jesus. Now you can rejoice.
One of the greatest things you can do for anyone is pray for them. And if you’re going to be praying for people that God brings to mind, then you need to be listening and be in a confessed condition so as not to allow sin to get in the way. Making prayer your first response is a step in the right direction.
Giving thanks in all circumstances doesn’t say giving thanks “for” all circumstances. There are all sorts of things that I don’t give thanks for: the death of a friend; someone walking away from the faith; going through divorce. You don’t give thanks for things, but you definitely need to be giving thanks when you’re going through them. Why? Again it has to do with perspective. Because even in those hard things in hard times you’re looking unto Jesus.
Today’s One Thing
But how can we make these sweeping acts reality? Now to him who is was able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-22 NIV) If you need to rejoice always, have unceasing prayer, and give thanks in all things, then go to Him who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.
Watch Dr. Randy Carlson’s Intentional Living Minute on PRAYER. You can get the Intentional Living Minute in your email when you go to TheIntentionalLife.com/minute.