God’s Will For You
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Remember to Rejoice
Rejoicing at all times is not the easiest thing to do. Pain, misery, and other terrible circumstances can all damper our desire to rejoice. But we see in the Bible time and time again where God’s people rejoice in times of great difficulty:
- Paul rejoiced while in prison
- David rejoiced when he was pursued
- Isaiah instructs the afflicted to rejoice in the Lord
Persist in Prayer
Prayer is something that every Christian should be an expert. We have many examples in scripture to draw upon. We can openly pour out our hearts to God in praise and petition. Prayer can be silent or spoken. The only thing that stops us from praying is ourselves. We need to take more time to be in the presence of our Almighty God. As in all things, we need to practice to become good at prayer. And as we grow, we will notice our prayer life changes from our immediate needs to the needs of others and praise of the One who hears our prayers.
Thankfulness is a state of the heart. It is dependent upon the level of contentment that we experience. If a person is not content, they will not be inherently thankful. And when difficulties arise, they will find it even more challenging to be thankful. It is easy to be content in times of plenty. Let us practice thankful contentment when we can so that in times of difficulty we can apply ourselves to that difficult task. Job first set the example:
Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.
Paul tells us he learned to be content:
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I thankfully content, praying continually, with rejoicing?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, may my heart be content with my circumstances, and may Your praise be continually on my lips. Even in my worst circumstances, You are with me, guiding me and providing for me. Help me to remember that You are constantly involved in my life, regardless of the pain I feel. Help me to praise Your name, even if it is with tears, for You treasure them. And when there are terribly long times of difficulty, with no end in sight, give me the strength to continually praise You, pray to You, and be thankful; for this life is very short, no matter how painfully long it feels. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.