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 know something about circumstances. What’s that? My circumstances will be uncertain. My circumstances will be unpredictable. My circumstances will not always be enjoyable. Does this come as some big surprise to you? No, not really. I know that this is a sin broken world. There is pain and suffering and evil in this world. There are temptations and trials in this life. You experienced the pain and suffering and evil that is in this world. You were not exempt. Why would I be exempt? No, I am certain to experience adverse and difficult circumstances in life. That’s true.
How will you go through circumstances in life? Will you allow your circumstances in life to dictate your thoughts, feelings and values? Who will you rely on as you go through difficult circumstances in life? Will you rely on yourself? Will you rely on me? How will you respond to painful and troubling circumstances in life? Those are all very good questions. There is one thing I know for certain. What’s that? You will be with me to help me as I go through all the circumstances of life. Yes, I will be with you to help you. I will never be alone. That’s right. It seems to me that trying circumstances will give me focused opportunities to draw near to you. In every difficult and trying circumstance I can draw close to you. You will comfort me. You will strengthen me. You will encourage me. You will carry me through every difficulty. Yes, I will do all these things for you. Receiving your help fills my heart with joy. Experiencing your presence fills my heart with thankfulness. So, even in the midst of trying circumstances, in the midst of great difficulty, I can be joyful and thankful because I know that you will be with me to help me. Yes, I will. In the midst of difficult circumstances, I will know that I will be learning to come to rely on you. I will know that I will be learning to know and do your will because I will remain joyful and thankful as I place all my hope and faith and trust in you. I will keep on being joyful and thankful and prayerful as I walk with you through all the difficult circumstances in life. That will be very good. Thank you, Lord for being with me to help me.
Lord, I need your help. I want to be joyful and thankful and prayerful throughout all the varied circumstances of life. I want to know and do your will everyday as I love and follow and serve you. You are my joy. For you I give thanks. To you I make my prayers. Amen
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