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)
What has your attention? What has your focus? I’m not sure what you mean. What is occupying your thoughts? Can you be a little more specific? Are your thoughts set solely on the things of this life? Is your perspective entirely earthly? You do realize that this life is fleeting? You are just passing through this life. You are here today. You will be gone tomorrow. Your life on this earth will go by like a blink of an eye or a snap of your fingers. Are these thoughts supposed to help me in some way? Am I supposed to be encouraged by these thoughts? I thought that my current circumstances were bad enough. Now, the brevity of my life is getting added on to my dismal circumstances. This does seem like too much weight to bear. Think again.
You are missing the point. This life is like a mist or a vapor that will quickly pass away. You might even say that this life is like a mirage. What you see now seems so real. What is before you will soon disappear. This life is not all that there is. You have so much more to look forward to. You are thinking earthly thoughts from an earthly perspective. You could be thinking heavenly thoughts from a heavenly perspective. Thinking heavenly thoughts would entirely change your perspective. How so? You have eternal life to look forward to. The pain and suffering of this temporary life is nothing compared to the joy and splendor that you will experience forever in heaven. That is a game changer for my thoughts. Yes, it is.
Your future in heaven should also be a game change for your actions. How so? Time is short. There is much work for you to do in this life. The harvest is plentiful. The workers are few. I want you to bear an abundance of fruit for my kingdom. How so? You can go where I send you. You can do what I ask of you. You can be a bright and shining light for me in the world. I can use you to draw others to me. That’s what I want. That is my desire and hope and prayer. I am sure of that. I can see that in you. You will shine brighter and bear more fruit for me if you stay focused and remain joyful, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. That, I will do. That will be very good.
Lord, thank you that you have given me so much for which I can be thankful. As I go through difficult circumstances I will keep my heart and mind focused on the life I have with you now and forever. Help me to be joyful, prayerful and thankful as I follow you. Amen
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