Yesterday's sermon really struck a cord with me. Especially after what last week was like. I took some notes and wanted to share them with you. The sermon was based on the scriptures from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24. I'll just share the first couple verses with you, but please read the rest for yourself. "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Pastor shared that having joy and being joyful doesn't equate with being happy. Joy comes from God and NOT from our circumstances. Our circumstances and the unknowns of our future can cause anxiety and worry. Joy is not easy because we do have trials in our lives and our futures are uncertain, but we KNOW that we are children of God.
That leads into praying without ceasing. We are to pray when life is hard, but we are also to pray when life is easy. Prayer is about relationship with God. The more we pray for EVERYTHING the closer we feel to God; we build a trust in Him and learn that we can turn to God for anything. Trust eases those unknowns in life.
Next the scripture says to give thanks in all circumstances. No matter what. This develops an attitude of gratitude and it shows where we place our trust. We are called to be grateful despite the unknowns in life. God has already prepared tomorrow for us! I love that! God even cares for us before we need providing.
God is there with us, even in the midst of our weaknesses. God doesn't always work in the ways we expect, but rather in the ways we NEED. It might be very simple rather than spectacular, but God is working. God simply provides even though He may not tell you HOW He will and He doesn't do a half-way job.
This is one of those lessons that I have heard many times previously, but I needed the reminder.