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 NIV
What is God's will for us? To be honest, that is a question we should ask every day. As Christians, we experience this as we grow in faith; we are not the same people now as when we started. Each day we grow as we read, spend time in introspection and reflection, and speak with God. All of us at different places and different ways, but all on the continuous journey to discover God's will
By no means does The Apostle Paul intend three verses to be an exhaustive list of what it means to seek God's will. They do, however, serve as a starting point in our journey.
When we rejoice, we respond to God's grace, giving thanks and adoration for his love and mercy. We express this joy not just individually and communally, but we carry it out into the world and share it with others. We do this so others may also come and enjoy first-hand the loving-kindness found in Jesus Christ.
When we pray, we are conversing with our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Our prayers do not end with Amen but continue as a running dialogue throughout our day. As things happen, we give thanks and also raise concerns. Most importantly, we pause and listen to the Holy Spirit for what God would have us do.
Finally, and probably the hardest, give thanks in all circumstances. Even when we are in the depths of despair, give thanks. When we feel everything that can go wrong has, still express gratitude. Not necessarily thanks that we are in our current position, but God will deliver us in our faith. We trust in his promise and the certainty in hope.
Loving God, we come humbly before you to give our thanks and praise. Thank you for all you have done, what you are doing for us right now, and what you will do. Please help us be mindful of your presence throughout the day and remain diligent in our dialogue with you. We give you thanks in our current circumstances and content in the knowledge of your love and compassion. We rejoice when things are well and grateful for your hope when they do not. Keep us safe this day, and let our lives bring your light into the world. Amen.