“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT)
For most of my life, my emotions and my attitude were connected to whether or not I felt like things in my life were going well. If I thought things were going well, I was joyful, prayer came easily, and I was overflowing with thankfulness to God. If things weren’t going well, I was not joyful, prayer did not come easily, and I wondered if God had forgotten about me. But in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he encouraged them to be joyful always, to pray without ceasing, and to be thankful in every circumstance.
1. Every circumstance we experience is temporary and connected to our time in this natural world.
2. Jesus never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His love for us is eternal. (Hebrews 13:8)
3. Being genuinely joyful and thankful in every circumstance is our acknowledgment that we are part of something larger than our circumstances — a purpose with eternal value that God designed for us to fulfill. (Ephesians 2:10)
4. The moment when we are joyful and thankful and worship God in the midst of any circumstance, we transport ourselves into eternity where God is.
Do you have a circumstance in your life this Thanksgiving season that is challenging your ability to be joyful and thankful to God?
(The graphic above was designed for my new book “Inspired For Greater Things”. I took the photo of the orchid above in Cambodia in early November 2013.)