God’s Will: Be Joyful Always
God’s will and command for Christians is that they are joyful always (1 Thessalonians 5:16). The quality of our Christian life is totally influenced by our view of God. We can have settled joy, or avoid it, as we believe God is involved in our life, for the good (Romans 8:28). Joy is not dependent on circumstances because it’s grounded in God. The surest way to quench your joy is to live your life with little thought of God. We can be more carefree, like little children (Matthew 18:2-3), when we embrace that our heavenly Father is in charge and taking care of us.
Everyone wants joy, and many things give a measure of joy, but only God satisfies with full and lasting joy (Psalms 16:11). By observing God’s creation we can see many reminders of God’s involvement and care for our world for the good. Enjoy the Creator who opens up His hands and satisfies with good things (Psalms 104:28).
6 Ways to be Joy-filled:
- Daily, surrender your life to Jesus.
- Look to a hopeful future (Philippians 3:13-14), and focus more on others than yourself.
- Believe God is in control.
- Be grateful
- Joy doesn’t depend on an easy life.
“Joy is the flag that flies over the castle of our hearts announcing that the King is in residence today.” Walter B. Knight
God’s Will: Pray Continually
Prayer moves God! God responds out of the noble excellence of His character. “God has left certain things open to prayer – things which will never be done except as we pray.” Dr. E. Stanley Jones What is God waiting for you to pray about?
There is mystery in prayer. It’s not raw power, it doesn’t manipulate God, and it’s not a simple push button answer. The mystery involves human freedom, natural laws, forces of evil and God’s restrained power. Yet, we pray because Jesus prayed…and Jesus still prays for us in heaven (Hebrews 7:24-25). Jesus prayed as if it made a difference. Pray like it is your lifeline…because it is!
With unanswered prayer remember: 1. God places a high value on honesty – tell Him your struggles; 2. God uses the waiting time to shape our character; 3. God often answers prayer through people; and 4. Consider God’s point of view. “The greatest tragedy in life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.” F.B. Meyer
Praying without ceasing means: 1. living in humble dependence on God, hold His hand, 2. talking to God over and over and often, and 3. don’t stop. Don’t cease, and give up hope and give up on God.
God’s Will: Give Thanks in All Circumstances
Try going 24 hours without complaining. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. We choose our attitude. Exchange a complaining attitude with a thankful attitude. According to theologian John Calvin, “Thanksgiving is ‘the chief exercise of godliness’”. Thanksgiving may well be the most important activity we do when we recognize that all we are and have comes from God (1 Corinthians 4:7). All of life is a gift from God, and we choose if we thank Him for it.
If you made a list of reasons for thanks it might look like this: Be thankful for: 1. Christian faith (future hope and present help and purpose), 2. Being in love, 3. Freedom (76% of the world’s population has high or very high restrictions on freedom of religion or belief), 4. Health, 5. Intellectual stimulation, 6. Meaningful work, 7. Well off lifestyle, and 8. Christ-like servant character. Yet, having reasons for thanks doesn’t mean you will be thankful.
Like 2 rails of a railroad track, we always have something good and something bad in our life, and we have a choice where we will put our focus. “Gratitude shifts our focus from what’s wrong to what’s right. Gratitude shifts our focus off ourselves and onto God. Gratitude shifts our focus from a proud attitude of entitlement – ‘what I deserve’, to an attitude of humility – ‘what I’ve received.’” Kurt Brunner
Choose your attitude. Shift your focus to gratitude!