By: Gail Armatys
The journey to accomplishing your purpose may require much of you…including giving thanks in difficult circumstances.
I am frustrated with a particular endeavor of mine. I have to chuckle, because it is no coincidence that my most recent newsletter was on the Christ-like character trait of perseverance. God has a sense of humor and is intentional about everything. So each time I write a newsletter, blog, or speech you can be sure He has a message in it for me as well. It’s not that I don’t read what I write or implement what God puts on my heart to share. It’s that I had forgotten a couple of steps along the way to accomplishing my purpose. This time, the message to me was found in First Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Be joyful always;
Give thanks in all circumstances,
For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
As I read, I heard clearly in my Spirit, “Why are you frustrated when you should be joyful? Come to me with a joyful heart. I know you’ve been praying…and I have been silent. Keep praying. I heard you give thanks for many things thus far today. But I did not hear thanks for the circumstances that frustrate you so. Come to me and give thanks for your situation. This experience will bring about much good…in my time.”
Next thing I know, I’m on my knees on the hard, stone patio, head bowed in prayer thanking God for all he has done and all He is doing. It was a prayer from deep in my heart. No fancy words, but a heart desperate to show gratitude for the work He was doing in me and through me to make known His name, His love, and His purposes for each of our lives.
After finishing my prayer, I felt refreshed. My attitude shifted. My focus was back where it should be – on God, not on my circumstances or myself. Sometimes, even when we do things for the right reasons, there are battles that must be fought as we dare to move forward. Even so, God is with us.
So today, my friend, I pray that you stop whatever you are doing, wherever you are, and shift your focus to Jesus and your weight to your knees. I pray you would bend low and speak from your heart every hurt and frustration that has blocked you from a joy-filled journey – that you choose joy in the Lord always. I pray that you find peace as you share with God and tell Him what you would like Him to do …according to His timeline. I pray that you would thank the Lord for all His wonders, and goodness; His faithfulness and mercy; for His love, and yes, for the situation and circumstances that you find yourself in – frustrating or not – because you know that through Christ it is all for your good and He is with you through all of it.
May your eyes and heart be focused on Christ, may your attitude be that of joy, may your prayers be as your very breath, and may you give thanks in each and every circumstance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Choose to speak in a joyful tone today sharing words of refreshment and encouragement. Notice how your day went before crawling into bed.
- Be intentional about praying throughout the day – let your breath be your reminder.
- Thank God for whatever circumstances you find yourself in this week…for they are meant to bring about much good for you.
Father, I pray to walk in joy today, to live as though my every thought and action were a prayer lifted in your name, and to never forget to thank you for all you are teaching me, how you are leading me, and what you have planned for me. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
Listen to your HeartSong below.