Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Sufficient for Everything

by Lara Cook
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Paul gave the Thessalonians three things to remember in striving to live a Christian life.  These three things we would do well to remember also.  They are good for hard times in our lives, anything we may go through, and for everyday living as well.
Rejoice Always
– If you have ever been in the middle of unbearable circumstances, then you know how hard it is to rejoice always when the walls are falling down around you.  And yet, this is what we are called to do.  Even when it is hard, we are to rejoice.  What can we rejoice about when difficult circumstances surround us? We can rejoice because we can give it to Him.  He loves us and wants us to hand it over to Him because He wants to take care of it for us.  
Pray Without Ceasing– God loves it when we talk to Him.  We are His children and He wants us to be in a state of communication with Him always.  It is easy to pray when something happens, but the temptation is also there to reach for a quick fix to our problems.  Praying usually requires waiting and trusting.  We want to fix things fast.  God is the perfect answer to all our needs and we always have instant access to Him. Keep your connection to Him open and talk to Him about everything as you go through your day.  And when you are having to wait for an answer, keep praying. 
Give Thanks in All Circumstances- Even when the walls are falling down around you there are still things that you can be thankful for.  Gratitude causes us to focus on the One who has given and His provisions for our good.  Gratitude rebalances the scale of our circumstances when we are in troubled times. Satan loves to see us forget God’s past blessings and care in a time of trouble.  
No one ever wants to say “Thank you” for hard times. But the verse does not say “Give thanks forall circumstances.”  It says to “Give thanks inall circumstances.”  Still hard, but it changes everything. God is in all the circumstances of our lives – good and bad. This does not mean that He causes all the hard things to happen to us, but it means He is there.  Look for Him.  Seek Him and His peace and wisdom.  Ask what you are supposed to be learning and doing.  All the circumstances of our lives happen for a reason.  It may not be directed at us, but we are serving a purpose there. 
To help keep an attitude of giving thanks in all circumstances:
  • Find something to be thankful for everyday.
  • Discipline your mind to focus on what you are thankful for in diufficult situatuions.
  • Find and meditate on thankfulness in scripture.
  • Don’t let an ungrateful attitude take over – stop it immediately when it pops in your head.
  • Encourage and show gratitude to others around you.
When our mind is jumbled and our emotions stirred, these three simple things (not always simple to do) are easy to remember. Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks.  The last part of the verse helps us to see just how important this is.  Paul says it is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you… If we are sad, angry, hurt, discouraged, hopeless, it is His will that we rejoice, pray, and give thanks.  We can trust Him with everything if we obey and follow His will for our lives and obey. 

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Psalm 55:22

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