1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
We look at all that is going on in the world and wonder how we can be joyful and thankful. But why are we looking at all that each day? Why are we pouring into our mind the news reports and articles in the newspaper and on the Internet about the horrible things happening?
Listen and read, but be aware. The problems of this world are not ours to solve. Every four years the political arena has us debating who the best candidate will be. And yet we can do nothing about what they do when the election is over. Our only responsibility is to cast our vote and know that God is the one in charge of all. (Romans 13:1)
How can we not be joyful when we know that we know that Jesus died to remove forever out debt of sin? We are free of all bondage. We have been redeemed by Christ and are righteous as He is righteous. Now that is something to be joyous about. Let us not allow what is going on around us in this world to take away that joy.
As trials in this life come our way, let us be thankful for each one. If life was rosy all the time we would never have an opportunity to to grow, to learn from our mistakes and move on. How often do we get so wrapped up in our own solutions that we forget the Holy Spirit? If we give our situation to God, He will provide the best solution. He will guide us down the right path.
And of course we should be thankful for all the good things that happen in our lives. As we pray for others and our prayers are answered, we need to be thankful and not just take God for granted. He heard us and answered our prayers. Thank you, Jesus!
How do we never stop praying? Always lift up your thoughts to God. Stay in communication with Him all day. Thanks Him. Complain to Him. Ask for His help. Listen to His answer which may come in many forms. It could be the next text you receive, the person you meet while shopping, or even the scripture you hear on the radio as you drive to your next appointment. He may pop a thought into your mind or even speak so that you actually hear His voice.
As Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:15, "Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand."
So let us go about our day in prayer, full of joy and thankful for all God is doing in our lives.