I’ve been thinking a lot about this coming week, as I’m sure you have, along with the rest of the world. So many emotions, so many opinions; it seems as though the world is just raw and open and the need for Jesus’ healing love and compassion has never been more evident.
I was reading through 1 Thessalonians and felt God whispering to me about my role as a believer and how I need to live, especially right now. I found it interesting that the last few verses so perfectly and succinctly spelled out the Christian walk. And it got me to thinking.
I thought we’d do something a little different this week. Rather than one story to hopefully keep you thinking all week long, how about we take these verses and look at them one at a time for the next 7 days? I pray that God will use our time together to strengthen our faith, to give us direction during a stressful period and draw us closer to the One who is ultimately in control of everything!
So every day this week, I’ll commit to posting a short thought on each verse here around 9am PST. I pray that you’ll come back every day and get a little boost of encouragement to help you tackle the rest of the day. Can you do me a favor? Can you give me feedback on whether this type of engagement works for you? I’ve been praying about adding a bible study component to Peace, Love and Grandbabies and thought this would be the perfect start!
Are you ready? Here we go!
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.
Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Day 1 – Always be joyful. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16
What does being joyful mean to you? I think it’s easy to assume it means to be happy all the time. But let’s be honest, is that even really possible? The dictionary describes joyful as being full of joy. I know a lot of you are thinking, well, yeah, duh! So I looked up the word joy and found a few different thoughts on the word. First, it is an action word – to shout, or to leap, or to play. I believe that there are days I would say my being joyful is in line with this definition. I have been known to do a little leap and happy dance when I see someone I haven’t seen for a while or when something I really wanted to happen, happened exactly the way I wanted it to!
But life can be hard sometimes; there are seasons that it feels like I have very little to leap and do a happy dance for. I have a sense that there is more to Paul’s statement about being joyful than that.
The second definition appears to make joy a deeper, in-your-bones kind of feeling. Webster’s says it’s an anticipation and expectation of possessing what we love or desire.
I believe that God desires us to remember that our joy isn’t found in things, or even people. That kind of joy can quickly fade. Things don’t last and people can let you down. The kind of joy God wants for us is the kind that links us to heaven. I have incredible joy in the fact that God is in control, especially when things feel like they are going south. I have joy in knowing that, even when I think I’m all alone, God is with me and His Holy Spirit fills me with something I can’t even fully explain. And, most importantly, I have joy knowing that this earth is not my home; I’m just a visitor hanging out until my heavenly home is ready for me! You gotta admit, that’s worth a little leap and happy dance, right?
Lord, I pray that you will fill me with the kind of joy you want for me today. Fill me to overflowing so I can show your joy to the rest of the world. Amen.