The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

05/17/2008

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"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumatances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thess. 8:18).

There are alot of things wrapped up in that short passage. It seems to tie our joy into our praying. It says to us in general to "pray continually" and specifially to "give thanks in ALL circumstances."

So lets see...To have joy we ought to be praying alot and giving thanks all the time. How do the requests in our prayers balance out with the thanks? Do we send up more requests than thanks? Being thankful is not an arbitrary choice then, is it? But there is even a little more in this passage. Probably the toughest part of this is the "in all circumstances" part. Oh, its not hard to be thankful when the road is smooth and all is well. But how about when we hit the speed bumps and times become more difficult? How about the times when it seems that everything is going to the dogs.

Sickness...Discouragement...Despair....Sadness....

Regardless of our circumstances, we are told to give thanks. This scripture says IN everything, nor FOR everything. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus. The scripture says we are to do it because this IS the will of God for us. Paul tells us in Rom. 8:28 "that in all things God works for the good to those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Maybe if we are going through trials that it is God's way of showing us that He trusts us with those trials. That we are learning lessons to be thankful for. Then we can thank Him for the assurance that He is watching over all, and has the answer for our needs. Thanksgiving has a way of lifting us above our circumstances.

God can turn even the unpleasant things in our lives into blessings. Do you believe that? Take the time this morning to give thanks to your great Lord..If for no other reason, but that it is "His will for us in Christ Jesus." It will make you feel better...It is the way to real joy..

Have a great weekend...I hope your worship on the Lord's Day is uplifting to you and a glorification to the Lord...Make a difference Love mark Phil. 4:11

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