“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
God loves to intervene and allow “coincidences” to fill up my life. I was having a very rough day yesterday. I have a stack of note cards with some of my favorite Bible verses written on them. I grabbed the top one of the stack because I needed a verse for something I was working on. These three verses were on that note card. These three verses were not easy for me to hear at that time, because I was extremely anxious and nervous about something going on.
Despite my anxiety and fears, I still just happened to read these verses (Please note the sarcasm there, cuz it was definitely God’s timing for me to read them). These verses say to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. It doesn’t just say to do those things though, it says to do it always, continually, and in all circumstances. It was not a day that I was wanting to rejoice. It was not a day I honestly felt like praying. It certainly wasn’t a day I wanted to give thanks.
That doesn’t matter though. God doesn’t want our praises and prayers only when we are having good days and everything is going right in our life. He wants our loving relationship with Him in all circumstances, the good and the bad. Despite my feelings, despite my fears and doubts, I somehow managed to rejoice and give thanks. Not about the circumstances I was in, but I was able to thank Him for who He was, and I was able to trust that He would be in the results of what I was nervous about. I prayed to Him all morning, basically asking for help in my circumstances and doing my best to rejoice at the time.
I can thankfully say that everything I was worried about worked out fine. I was definitely rejoicing and thanking God over and over for that. I believe that since I listened to Him, He helped me to hear Him and make better decisions throughout my day. Things we are anxious and worried about may not always work out the way we want. These verses remind us that God is still God even in those moments. That we need to trust Him, and still thank Him for all the grace and mercy and love He freely offers us. Our circumstances might change, they might not even be good, but Jesus came to earth and died for our sins. Our circumstances would be a lot worse without that loving sacrifice. Even in the midst of storms, there is a multitude of characteristics that God envelopes we can rejoice and give thanks for, and we can certainly spend time talking to Him in prayer about.