“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
Sometimes we have a really hard time trying to know what God’s plan for us is. We call that – God’s will for our lives. Some things we know we should do because He tells us in His word. Things like share God and Jesus with others, be kind and truthful, honor our parents and love the Lord.
In his letter to the church at Thessalonica, Paul gives them, and us, some advice on how to be in God’s will, God’s purpose for our lives. He tells us there are three things we need to do in order to stay in God’s will.
Rejoicing! Paul tells us to “rejoice always”. Rejoice means to “feel or show joy or happiness”. But, because of things that happen in our lives, we don’t always feel joyful or happy. So how can anyone expect us to rejoice all the time? When my grandmother died, I was really sad and upset. But I could still rejoice, be happy, that she was in heaven with God and Jesus.
Praying! Paul says we should “pray continually”. Praying is simply talking to God and Jesus. So we should be praying all day. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? But we can say a short prayer in our heads all throughout the day. I sometimes ask God for strength when I have a had job to do. Or ask Jesus to give me the right words to say to someone I meet. Or just tell God how awesome a Creator He is when I see a hummingbird zoom across the yard.
Thanking! Paul reminds us to “give thanks in all circumstances”. We do thank God for all the ways He provides for us. We thank Him for our mom and dad, our families, our friends, our homes and our food. But we need to thank Him even when things don’t go as well as we would like. I broke my arm when my children were little. My only broken bone. About two weeks later, my daughter, who was 7, jumped off the monkey bars at school and broke her arm. I was able to know exactly how she felt and what she needed. We went through it together! Thank you, Lord!
This week, fold a piece of paper in thirds, like a letter that goes in an envelope. Your parents can help you. Open it up and write each of the underlined words in one of the areas. In the area that says Rejoicing! draw a picture of something that makes you rejoice. In the area that you wrote Praying! draw something you need to pray to God about. And in the area that you put Thanking! draw as many things as you can that you thank God for. Share it with your family!
Blessings as you rejoice, pray, and thank God and stay in His will for your life!