March 19 - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19 - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

This is an incredibly encouraging verse, one that people script out in calligraphy and hang on their walls.

But, exactly how practical is it in your own life?  Do you do these things? Do you often think about this verse when the world seems to be crashing in around you?

It’s usually at the point where I’m starting to see daylight again after throwing off the broken down parts of my world that I remember I’m supposed to be rejoicing, praying and giving thanks.  At that point, I’m just glad God has stayed close while I’ve been a complete monster and I hope that too many people haven’t watched me be very un-Christian-like. Given enough time, I remember to get to the point where I’m to rejoice, pray and give thanks, but it is difficult to remember to do that at first breath.

These, though, are marks of a Christian: joy, prayer, gratitude. Maybe they don’t show up when we’re under immense stress, but do they mark your life for the most part?

There have been plenty of Christians whose lives seem to be marked by the exact opposite behavior. They grumble and complain, demand and push, scowl and sneer.

What do people see in you … during the regular times of your life … when it is normal stress and strain?

This reminds me over and over that I must always be aware of those who are watching me. If I am representing Jesus Christ to them, I need to make joy, prayer and gratitude the first thing that happens no matter what the situation.  That’s why the calligraphy print of this hangs on my wall.