Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
I have let circumstances get me down. I have not been joyful in every circumstance. Far from it. I have let circumstances cloud my vision and lose my focus. I have let circumstances steal my joy. I have let circumstances cause me to take my eyes off you. I have let all my thoughts and words and deeds be guided and directed by whatever circumstance I have found myself. Circumstances have caused me to lose my balance and send me off course. So often, I have lived under the circumstances of life rather than above them. That’s not good. No, it’s not. How have gotten back on course? There is one very positive thing about negative circumstances. What’s that? Negative circumstances have always caused me to cry out to you. Right away? No, not right away. I wish I could say that I would start praying to you right away when circumstances have turned negative around me. Unfortunately, I have tried in vain to fight my own way out of negative circumstances. Sometimes, I have even had to reach rock bottom, when all my own efforts have not brought me through negative circumstances, before I have cried out to you in prayer. I like it that you have tried to fight your way out of negative circumstances. Why is that? Your desire to fight and do battle against negative circumstances is good. Your choice of weapon to fight your way out of negative circumstances is all wrong however. How so? You will never win battles against negative circumstances with your own efforts. You must rely on me. You must choose the proper weapon with which to fight. Do you know what that weapon is? Yes, after so many failures, I have finally learned that I can continually pray prayers that will give me victory through circumstances. Why is that? As I pray to you, my eyes will be on you rather than on my circumstances. You will lead me through my circumstances. You will be my helper. You will be my strength. You will be my guide. I can hold on to you as you hold on to me through all the circumstances of life. Yes, you can. Yes, I will. What will you have as I lead you through all the ups and downs and twists and turns of the circumstances of life? I will have joy. Why is that? My relationship with you will grow deeper and become sweeter as I hold on to you and you hold on to me. Yes, it will. Then you will become truly joyful, prayerful and thankful as you love, follow and serve me. Yes, I will.
Lord, I have not always been joyful, prayerful and thankful. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to you. Help me to be continually joyful, prayerful and thankful. I know I have abundant reasons to be joyful, prayerful and thankful. You have blessed my life. Amen
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