For those who hunger and thirst after God. For those who want to honor Christ and glorify God.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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 I can tell when I begin to lose my happy face. My failure to thank God turns my smile upside down. But when I remember to show gratitude to my heavenly Father—regardless of the situation I find myself in—I am filled with the joy of the Lord. Prayerful gratitude gives me a joyful attitude. Recently, I was overwhelmed with a challenge at work. I went into “solve the problem” mode and missed an opportunity to seek God in prayer. After a day of stress and anxiety I paused and thanked God for His track record of faithfulness. Joy was restored. Jesus gave me a solution. The Apostle Paul experienced more than his share of trials and tribulations: imprisoned for his faith, shipwrecked on his missionary journey and chronic pain from health issues. Yet, he reminds himself and his readers to have an unceasing attitude of gratitude in prayer, which results in joy. Then he punctuates the end of the verse with an exclamation that this mindset is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus. Some aspects of the Lord’s will are unclear, but continual prayer, gratitude and joy are clearly God’s desire for His children. In Christ Jesus we have joy. “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength” (Habakuk 3:18-19). Do you count your blessings or do you demand to be blessed? One of the enemy’s traps is to talk you into forgetting what the Lord has already done in your life and have you obsess over what He ought to do in your life right now. Sometimes the Spirit needs to do a deeper work in your heart before He works out an opportunity. If you have what you insist on today—you might not be able to handle the blessing in a Christ honoring way. So, continue in grateful prayer to God. Be joyful in His strength, so the Spirit can tame your spirit with truth. Joy comes as you wait. Gratitude is a humble attitude that asks how we can help others. Maybe we take care of a friend’s child for a day, so they can enjoy some adult conversation with their community. Or, because we have been blessed with mentors—we can bless others with encouragement and insight into life. Gratitude to God leads us to serve others in Jesus’ name. In the process we experience the joy of giving. Joy is not bought, but wrought out of our thankful prayers and humble service. Look no further for the Lord’s will. Our grateful prayers give us joy in Jesus, so we can share Jesus’ joy! “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:12-13). Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your abundant mercy and grace. I rejoice in Your love. Application: How do I need to express my gratitude to God? Who can I serve in Jesus name? ~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~