Always. Continually. In All Circumstances.
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“…Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
I had been running hard into one challenge after another: blocked projects, difficult people, and impossible deadlines. Everyday there were new frustrations and discouragements. I became tense, irritable, and short-tempered.
Then, a painful issue exploded into legal confrontation. “That’s it!” I said, “I can’t do this anymore!”
God spoke to me clearly through 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Words that struck like a hammer blow confronted my sour attitude:
- “Rejoice always!“ Yes – at all times.
- “Pray continually!” Yes – without stopping.
- “Give thanks in all circumstances!” Yes – even through these excruciating circumstances.
These verses made no room for my bitterness.
What was an even bigger breakthrough for me was the realization that this change in attitude is “God’s will for me in Christ Jesus.” For all the times I wondered about God’s will, here it was: rejoice, pray, and give thanks. Always. Continually. In all circumstances. I was faced with an inescapable choice between my negative outlook and God’s will for my life.
Ouch! God’s Word poked hard at my sore spot, but it was a healing touch. Overnight my outlook changed. I refocused my mind and heart on God in prayer. I gave thanks, and joy quickly returned to my spirit. Have you checked your attitude lately?
Father, You are the Master of all my circumstances. You are my anchor and not the changing world around me. Therefore, even now, in this situation, I rejoice and give thanks for Your unfailing love.
Action Step: Pick one circumstance in your life where you harbored bitterness and resentment. Is there someone you need to forgive or ask forgiveness from? Carve out some time where you pray about that one specific circumstance. Ask God to speak to your heart and check your attitude.
Resource: Fast from a sour attitude. Here is a wonderful resource for praying and fasting, written by Campus Crusade’s founder, Dr. Bill Bright.