Rejoice always; pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances . . .
~ 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18
I have often wondered what it must have been like for Paul to find himself being such an outcast in some places, have his life threatened, be imprisoned, and ridiculed in so many ways during the course of his ministry.
While we all have our challenges, he writes during the worst of circumstances to give thanks always.
I'm not always able to do that the way that I would hope. Occasionally the glass seems to be a little less than half full, and let's face it, some days are just difficult.
I guess that being in constant prayer also helps us through these moments. Sometimes we forget that at one point in the time of humanity, that God walked among us. Jesus knows first-hand what it is to be human, and what the human experience is all about. While we know that Jesus went off to pray alone, there were also times when the crowds gathered and he spoke aloud as he pronounced that what he was doing was in the name of God so that people might know that what he was about to do involved God.
I'm not so sure that many people would understand if you announced every time you were about to do something that it was because God has lead you to say, do, or believe a certain way! Our ability to always rejoice while praying without ceasing, sometimes involves us seeking to find the things that bring us joy. Even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again, I say rejoice! Everything that is, is given by the God of love. All is grace. Light and water, shelter and food, work and free time, children, parents and grandparents, birth and death. All of these things are given to us.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, help me today, and each day, to discover the things that You have done. May I rejoice in Your presence, and may I find that I bring Your presence closer to my life through my daily conversations with You. Amen.
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.