Sunday, September 8, 2013

"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

It has taken me quite some time to fully understand this verse. It's not like God is saying, "Say thank you that your kid is sick or that your loved one died or that your finances are tight." Rather God is telling you to trust him at all times, pray about everything that is on your heart, and lastly to give thanks for all the the things around you that are going well--all of the wonderful people and things God has blessed you with and for the simple joy of knowing HIM.

For example, I am not excited that my husband has atrial fibrillation, that our finances are tight, that we have unsaved family members, etc. BUT at the same time, I have great joy when I look around us and see the "fruit" that is being producing in our lives as we trust in Him and walk through these trials. In a very real sense I am thankful for these trials because they are transforming me and my husband (indeed our entire family) into the people God created us to be. We are no longer the same people we used to be, and while the transformation process is painful, the results are beautiful.

Recently my husband and I witnessed a good friend battle leukemia for quite some time. The Lord eventually called him home and we are thankful for his sweet union with the Savior.  However our hearts break for his wife and their young son that he leaves behind. Yet through it all his wife has been such a beautiful picture of God's amazing grace. 

She has exemplified the verse above in so many ways. As she watched her husband battle cancer, she continued to praise God for his small gifts of grace each day--the prayers and support of family, a few sips of water, a completed surgery, a rainbow over her home, hospice care, and the fact that her Beloved breathed his last breath in the peace of their home rather than the sterility of the hospital. I know this trial has not been easy for her or her young son, and I covet your prayers for this family.

At the same time we can learn so much from the way she walked through this painful situation and has continued to rely on her Heavenly Father...all the while crying out to Him, praying continually, and thanking Him for all of his blessings in the midst of her pain. 

Dear Mom, I would like to encourage you to pray all the time about everything big or small that is on your heart. Thank the Lord for his provision, his grace, and his blessings in the midst of every single circumstance. In doing so you will experience His peace that surpasses all understanding and the fruit of the Holy Spirit overflowing in your life as you walk step-by-step with your Savior each day.


Heavenly Father, you said that in this world there would be many trials, but you also said that you would never leave us or forsake us. Help us to see your beauty, your grace, your peace, your provision,  your protection, your blessings in our lives in the mist of our frustrations and pains. As we fix our eyes on you, may we experience your peace and your joy. May we find that you are our great Redeemer, our wonderful Counselor, our friend, and our Savior. For you Father, we are truly thankful. Thank you for your incredible love for us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. 

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