Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.— 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
These could be verses that you are very familiar with, you may have even grown up in a house that had these verses hanging somewhere in your home. Paul throughout the this first letter to the Thessalonians is writing words of encouragement. Timothy had given Paul a very encouraging report and the growth seen in the church. Paul thanks God for them, and even says their church is serving as an example to others. After all this Paul closes with three words of instruction: (1) be joyful always, (2) pray continually, and (3) give thanks in all circumstances. As we approach the busy holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I believe these small words of instruction can make this season more enjoyable and uplifting.
The Bible mentions that the joy we seek and desire is found in Christ. This world can throw a lot at us, but if we root ourselves in Christ all the struggles and pain in life fail to match up to the greatness of Christ.
Second, are you praying continuously? Are you making prayer a daily priority? I do not just mean praying for peoples heath, that’s of course great, but prayer is so much more then that. Prayer opens us up to God and allows Him to guide and lead us. This holiday season make prayer a part of your everyday life, see what can God do when we align ourselves with Him.
Lastly Paul says, give thanks in the good times! No, of course that’s not what he says. Instead Paul says in ALL circumstances. If we are giving thanks to God, that rids ourselves of the complaining attitude that can only cause damage. If we all practice this, think about how different our lives could be!
Take these three instructions to heart, and consider the difference they can all make in your life.