Sunday Inspiration: Always
by Jim Hughes
Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (I Thess. 5:16-18, NLT)
Always be joyful. This admonishment is one of the hardest things to do for most people. Always does not give any room for not being joyful and there are many times in life in which joy is hard to come by. Is it even possible?
If we see joyfulness as being different than happiness, yes. Joy is a state of contentment and appreciation for what God has done for us. It is the ability to rest in the knowledge that we are His, regardless of what is going on around us. It is resting in the knowledge that God is in control and He will work things out for our good. It is the ability to believe what God says and trusting Him to act in a loving way towards us.
Keep on praying. Don't give up praying, no matter if you see the answers to your prayers or not. God answers the prayers of His children, always. We may have to wait years to see our prayers answered, we may see them answered right away, or we may not see them answered at all—regardless, keep on praying; especially if it involves another person.
Our prayers are absolutely essential for the well-being of those the Lord lays on our hearts. If we don't continue to pray, no one may be praying for them.
Always be thankful, for this is God's will for you. There simply is no room for complainers in God's family. One of the things that the Israelites did a lot of was complaining, and we know what happened to them in the wilderness, none of them made it into the Promised Land.
We have so much to be thankful for. It is a grave sin to take for granted our life in Christ and the blessings He bestows on us. No matter what happens around you, or even to you, thank the Lord for salvation, the Holy Spirit at work in you, the Word of God given to you, grace, mercy, eternal life, etc. In all things give our Father thanks, beginning right now.
About the Author
I am a retired pastor having served the church mainly as a bi-vocational pastor for over 40 years.
I have been married for over 40 years and we have two married children and a single son.
I have an online ministry, posting daily devotionals and tweeting on faith and marriage.
I have authored a series of devotional books covering every book of the Bible and several marriage books.
You can read Jim’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 3rd Sunday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.