“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.” Philippians 4:4
When considering God’s will for our lives, don’t we often have thoughts similar to these?
- Am I to be a teacher, pastor, or missionary in some faraway place?
- Which profession or career should I devote myself?
- Should I work among the poor or help those who injustices are thrust upon?
Indeed these and many more can be the will of God, and He will place us where He chooses and where we are best suited and designed for.
Those are the positions, titles, and tasks lived out in varying geographical locations. Here Paul is directing us to the internal character and personality we are to live and display as we are within those positions, titles, and tasks. They are the things that set us apart from the ordinary attitude of the world and instead reflect Christ.
“Always”, yes always, “Be joyful.” Does that mean shallow and carefree happiness or smiling to conceal sadness caused from something beyond our control? No, it is a deep-seated joy drawn from our trust and obedience in God and His Word. It is the joy given and maintained in us by Christ with the ultimate experience manifesting in the promise of one day living in His presence forever.
Never cease from praying, for this is the vehicle to hear and speak with the Father who loves us. Be grateful and content. Paul said he had learned to be content in whatever situation he was in; the good times as well as beatings and imprisonment for his faith. May we also display kindness, care, and thoughtfulness in every situation, for this is the will of God!
I pray today because of Your grace and power in my life that You find me living and displaying the qualities that bear Your name, for this is Your will. Amen.
“Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.” Isaiah 50:4