1 Thes 5:16-18

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It’s so easy to say “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances” than it is to live it.  Life stinks sometimes and what is our initial reaction to that……….complaining!  Or at least it has been mine!  I say “been mine” because that puts it in the past tense.  Not that I never complain, far from it, but I am learning how to look at the positive in all circumstances now, even in the stinken’ ones.  It started back about 14 years ago when my son was diagnosed with cancer.  The only way that I could make it through a day was to find the things in it that I could give thanks for.  And by the time the battle was won, I could see how God was working the whole time.  And then another struggle and another struggle and another struggle hit.  Continually building my trust in the Lord and continually building my “thanks” muscles.

A couple years back I read the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and she begins with a statement…..”When we discover the secret to a heart of gratitude, we can face these certain moments with grace, strength and even what seems impossible: JOY.”.   This is so true.

We have to start our days remembering that even in the darkest moments, God is continually giving us blessings.  We also must remember that He has placed people in our lives that bless us in many ways.  If we don’t remember these blessings then we’re not thankful for the giver.  God is the greatest gift giver ever and His will is for us is to be in eternity with Him. So even in the hardest of circumstances how can we not “give thanks”?  So I encourage you today, to stop before your start to complain and remember the blessings that you’ve already been given.

Dear Lord, I have seen hard in my life and I have seen You carry me through it all.  There is no way that I would have made it without Your blessings.  I know Lord that You only want the best for me.  I have not always handled struggles while rejoicing but I have always came through those struggles by Your grace, with renewed strength and elated Joy. Thank You for continually showing me that there is always reason for hope.  I am blessed by being able to talk with You and know that You are listening. I’m grateful!   Lord I pray for my family and friends.  I know Lord that they have struggles and for some it seems the struggles are never ending.  I ache for them Lord and pray they will learn to turn their eyes on You and learn to rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Your will for them in Christ Jesus.  Amen!

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