1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
This morning I am taking my mother back to the eye specialist. Yesterday was an emergency visit, as her pressure in her eye is so dangerously high that she has blisters trying to relieve the pressure. My mother is in pain, and her vision is almost at zero with such pressure. It is a serious matter. Many things can go wrong and it has never been this high. She has glaucoma, but she also has emphysema, which makes it difficult to breath to say the least. She must use inhalers, and the steroids in those lovely inhalers is what has made her pressure sky high.
I am praying that as I take her in this morning, the pressure will be down, and her pain will be gone, but what if it isn't? That is where God brings me to this verse this early morning, showing me to be joyful. To never stop praying. And to always be thankful. Three little sentences, but are mighty powerful in believing and producing. I think, "How can we always be joyful, thankful and in prayer constantly?" Let's begin with joyful. I don't think this means we are to be joyful of the circumstance or be happy because we are going through something difficult, but be joyful knowing God is in control. If we are fully trusting in Him, we don't have anything to fear. We can find joy in Him and Him alone. I don't have to be joyful in the fact that my mother is suffering, but I can be joyful knowing God sees the bigger plan. He is right there with her, and nothing is greater than His love for my mother.
In being thankful? Well, I am thankful I have a mighty God to turn to in such circumstances. I am not thankful for glaucoma or emphysema. They are terrible diseases, but these are temporary, God is permanent! He is lasting and much bigger than anything attacking us in this world. I can be thankful that this is not our home. There is much more beyond these diseases. And even in the worse of our times I can be thankful for my mother. Thankful for her love. In any circumstance if chose not to focus in what is happening, but focus on Christ, we can find thankfulness surrounding us. I am thankful I had friends I could turn to yesterday for prayer.
In praying? There are times we can lose ourselves in circumstances and feel that nothing we do will change it. But this is just not so. God is bigger than any circumstance. And praying is not only for Him, but for us. It is our communication with Him. We can be honest, and say, "God I really don't like this, but I am trusting you." And I think that is the key here, trust. If we trust God and believe in all He says, placing all our faith in Him and Him alone, we can find joy, peace, and thankfulness. And we can find these values through prayer in seeking a God greater than life itself.
God is sovereign and can redeem any situation. Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." We can turn to Romans 8:38 "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love." Those are two powerful verses that let us know how mighty God's love is for us. Our faith can carry us through any circumstance, and our trust will set us above the circumstance knowing God is in control. He sees tomorrow when I cannot. I can pray and lay my mother at His feet, knowing He loves her more than I, and He is going to bring healing, the healing of His choice. But whatever that may be, is in His hands and I must trust with all my heart, praying for His will. For it is His will that will bring glory and honor.
I didn't say this was easy. Life is down right hard, but it's not about us is it? It's always about Him. Prayer, joy, and thankfulness are treasures we can find in Him and Him alone. Whatever you are facing today, you too can face it with Christ as your guide. He knows the way through to the other side. Have faith, grow in Him, walk with Him, and we, together will see His glory before us, at work in us, and in those around us, bringing His will for our lives to completeness. Being complete in Him can bring us more joy and thankfulness than we ever thought possible. Seek Him today through prayer and feel His touch wash over you.