Thursday, October 6, 2016

Rejoice! Pray! Give Thanks!

by Debi Baker

"16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all 
 circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

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This verse has been difficult for me this week!  "Rejoice always!"  "Pray continually!"  "Give thanks in ALL Circumstances!"  HOW?  I received some news yesterday that literally took my breath away!  A good friend of mine and my husband's unexpectedly passed away! WHAT?  He was always so full of life and had a smile on his face (much like my hubby does!).  How am I supposed to rejoice, pray, give thanks in a situation like this?  My heart hurts!  My head won't stop spinning!  

He and his wife are such beautiful people...they have 3 daughters and several grandchildren.  He was the center of their world.  He had just retired from his second career.  They planned to travel.  He wanted to take his girls and their families on a cruise.  How are they supposed to rejoice, pray, give thanks in a situation like this?  

If you'll notice, this passage doesn't say 'except.'  It says in ALL circumstances!  Why?  Because God desires us to look on His face and not at our circumstances!  He is the Father of all things.  He loves our friend more than we or his family ever could!  Does God want us to suffer?  NO!!  But in our suffering He wants us to look to Him for comfort.

So while I don't understand His ways (they are higher than mine - Isaiah 55:9), I do know that He holds this precious family in His hands.  They are looking to Him.  They know they will see their beloved patriarch again one day! They are rejoicing in knowing he has gone home to be with his Heavenly Father!  They are praying for each other in this time of grief!  And they are giving thanks even in his earthly death; knowing He is at the foot of Jesus!

So, I tell myself if they can do it, so can I!  This man, this beloved friend, forever be in our hearts.  I can only imagine how he is keeping Jesus and all of Heaven in stitches with his amazing sense of humor!!  I challenge you today to "16 Rejoice always, 
17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all  circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

Have a blessed day!
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1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm sorry for your loss. It is hard sometimes to rejoice, pray and give thanks in all circumstances. You're right, though, that's what we should do. At least we know when we pray God listens.


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