Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thanks and Rejoicing

1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

These statements are something to think deeply about.

Give thanks in all circumstances?

Rejoice in the Lord always?

Even when we are faced with a multitude of problems and fears, troubles of every kind etc?

Yep, give thanks and rejoice especially when faced with the trials and tribulations of this world. This kind of action and thinking flies directly in the face of worldly action and wisdom. How can a person give thanks and rejoice when surrounded with every kind of problem imaginable? By Faith.

When we pray, we lift our problems and concerns up to our Lord and we expect him by faith to answer us. When we get up off our knees from prayer, we can walk around thanking God and rejoicing because our faith tells us that our problems are already answered even when our sight tells us there is no change in our circumstances.

We live by faith, not by sight. We praise, thank and rejoice even when our eyes tell us we are in our darkest hour. We are not in-sane, we are in-Christ. We have promises. We will stand or fall today and in the days ahead based on our faith or lack of it. Even when my faith has been lacking, I have seen the Lord extend his grace time and again to lift me up and restore me to a position of faithfulness so my prayers could be answers in accordance with his promises.

Throughout my entire life I have seen prayer answered, I have seen miracles happen but I can't take credit for any of it. Where did I get the faith? Jesus. Who extended their grace to me? Jesus did. Who gave me the promises to stand on? Jesus did. Who encouraged me when I was sagging under the weight of the world? Jesus did. So what's the lesson? No man is anything, Jesus is everything so we should seek him with all our heart. He is our answer to every problem, he is our first love, he is our reward on earth and he is our treasure in heaven.

Every good thing the Father has stored up for us can be found "in Christ" both now and in the age to come. So where should our attention be? On Jesus. Give thanks always, rejoice always. Lift up your concerns and requests to our Lord then rejoice in the answer to your prayer before you finish praying. We are told to do this in Mark 11:24: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Be very encouraged today that our Lord is still watching over his promises to fulfill every word spoken to us in his word. Our God answers prayer. He always has and he always will. Just realize that our God asks things of us. He commands us to do things and we have a part to play in this life. The way to find out what our God requires of us is to read the bible for yourself. You don't need to be beaten over the head by me or anyone else, just read your bibles with an open heart and mind. Ask the Lord to teach you and he will.

Be ready for the Lord's return. He could wait and come back years from now, or he could show up in the next few seconds. Our job is not to pinpoint the time of his arrival but to be ready whenever he does show up. Faith and patience is how we inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:12 ... so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

grace and peace