1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
We go through life at times questioning God’s will for our lives. We have gifts that we use or set aside. We have circumstances in our lives that when they occur are either planned or surprises. We have paths that are smooth or bumpy. We have plans yet they sometimes include God, or we go on our own. Do any of these situations sound familiar? Do they all fit your journey? God has a plan if we will listen and celebrate the whole journey.
The journey should always include the three challenges listed in Scripture. The first is to rejoice always. Do you rejoice always? You may be thinking my situation is missing something. You may also be thinking how I could possibly be joyous when I have lost my job, lost a loved one or lost hope in a marriage. God knows where you are and that you need Him. All things can be used to glorify God if you will allow Him to show you. That lost job may have a new opportunity to use your talents for His glory in another company. You may have lost a loved one, but you realize they taught you so many things. Your marriage takes a turn for good when you look at pictures of your wedding night and see the joy you have for each other.
God can show you that all things have a purpose. We are to be joyous in all things. When your situation turns into a testimony, others may get saved. Others may get helped in a similar situation through you sharing what God did for you. Anyone can be joyous when things go our way, but when we see all things go for God’s Glory we should always be joyous whether they are good or bad.
The second key is to pray without ceasing. Pray in all areas. Start the day in prayer, pray throughout the day, and close the day in prayer. Your prayer may be as simple as thanks, or I love You. Prayers and praise will allow you to see all God has for you. You will see mountains move, storms calm, hurts heal, grace given, and love shown. Having a relationship that grows starts by staying in communication with God.
The last area is in everything give thanks. We tend to ask Him and not thank Him. We need to be thankful for all things. Basics, shelter, jobs, family, opportunities, friends, church, and all that we see. We should also be thankful for all that we do not see. We need to be thankful for the good results, the bad results, the storms, the peace, the fullness of His love and grace even when we do not deserve it. God just wants us to receive His love and enjoy the journey by rejoicing, praying and thanking Him for all because He loves us so.
So, work on all three and give God all the Glory, because when you look at all He has done for you, the blessings will add up.