1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I can’t say that I’m a fan of t-shirts with messages, but I once passed a woman wearing a shirt that read “Today, I Choose Joy.” It is easier to wear a t-shirt than it is to live out the message because most of us face some significant challenges day in and day out, right?
Are you joyful all the time? Do you always have a bounce in your step? A smile on your face? Me neither.
As the Apostle Paul grew in his place in Christ he learned that whatever the change, the challenge, the circumstance, or the crisis, to rejoice. This kind of joy is more than that situational because it is an expression of a confident faith built on a relationship with Christ.
So, we can choose joy out of our dependence on Christ, but we are also challenged to “pray without ceasing.” Are you prayerful in your approach to life? In his lettetr to the Ephesians Paul provided a little more detail as he encouraged them to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people”(Ephesians 6:18).
Praying continually doesn’t mean that we lock ourselves in a room and do nothing but pray. It does mean that we have a constant attitude of prayer and set aside specific times to pray. If you take the time to start, there’s no shortage of things to consider in prayer.
Finally, Paul says to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Notice that we are to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. We can choose to be joyful no matter what stressors we are facing during the day. Even this day.