This Is the Day the Lord Has Made
Café Menu for Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Today’s Special is: Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad in It!
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Kathy
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Did you know that we are commanded to be JOYFUL always?
It can be difficult to obey these three commands – be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks – based on our circumstances. Often, it goes against our natural reaction to life. But our joy, prayers and thankfulness should not be dictated or change based on our current circumstances. We can’t always control our circumstances and our feelings (or emotions) are completely untrustworthy. But our God is faithful, and He is always with us.
Philippians 4:4-5 says this:
Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
I don’t know about you, but that in itself causes me to rejoice. To know my God is always near, close enough to hear my faintest whisper, “Jesus, I love you”, “Jesus, help me”, “Jesus, give me patience”, “Jesus, thank you for this moment.”
But unfortunately, we also have an enemy.
The Bible tells us that he comes to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to steal our joy, kill our passion and destroy the unity among us.
Guess what? He uses us to do his dirty work if we are not being joyful, praying continually, or giving thanks.
He will needle us over and over again, sometimes with little things like having something you use all the time break or some minor annoyance. He is crafty and cunning and he has all the time in the world. These little things build up in us until we become irritable. We get a cold or are exhausted from a long week at work. We are no longer joyful and we have forgotten to pray continually and before we know it, we allow careless words to slip from our mouths or we think ugly thoughts in our minds. Suddenly, we realize our joy is gone along with our patience.
So we must guard our hearts and our tongues and not let the enemy succeed. The next verse in Philippians read:
Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Faith in God requires action and constant action at that; for “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Perhaps this is why we are to pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. “Lord, thank You for my friend, bless her for her service”. “Lord, give me patience with this task”. “Lord, control my tongue and use it to lift others up and not tear them down”. “Lord, what do You want me to learn from this situation?” “Lord thank You for this person standing next to me who I am so irritated with; help me to love them”. “How can I bless her with Your words right now?”
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We have to take this action. We have to consciously be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks. James 4:7-8a says
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.
How can we do this?
Finally, brothers [sisters], whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Write some or all of these verses out on some index cards and tuck them in your purse or pocket.
Psalm 118:24; Psalm 118:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 4:4-9; 1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7-8; Romans 15:5-6; Romans 15:13
Try to memorize them.
Meditate on them and contemplate their true meaning and how it affects your life.
When you find your joy is gone or missing even for a minute, pull them out and recite them.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6) AND… May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13) In Jesus’ precious name we pray, AMEN.
© 2014 by Kathy Sweeny. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Tuesday, 07 October 2014.