Rejoice Always – Give Thanks
Paul tells the church in Thessalonia to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all situations. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
At times, I get so focused on myself, I forget how truly blessed I am. In 2013, my truck engine seized, my wife’s car stopped running, then our hot water heater went out, and our home air conditioner went out.
In the midst of all these things, I felt despair and anger at the overwhelming adversity. God has used several individuals in my life to show me my first world problems are nothing he cannot handle.
When the Going Gets Tough – Praise God
My boss helped us get a new vehicle, my pastor offered to help us fix my wife’s car, my family replaced the water heater, and my boss helped me get the air conditioner fixed.
God knew I couldn’t solve any of these issues alone. Once I realized I couldn’t fix the problems, I released them to God. Once I humble myself and give thanks to God, He blesses us with solutions.
God does not make bad things happen, but uses them for his benefit. Much like good police officers who do not cause crime, but receive recognition when they stop it, God is our protector, provider, and guidance.
Perception Affects Reality
One thing I have learned is that how you perceive the world affects your reality in it. For example, if I see the world as a dismal and sad place, that is how I will view it. Over time, this will affect how I treat people and handle situations around me. Therefore, I end up making my perception my reality.
On the other hand, if I perceive the world as a place full of hope and potential, I will project that hope onto others. People and events will begin to change, thus creating a positive reality for myself. I believe this is why Paul gives the following advise to Thessalonia:
“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