Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
A wonderful piece of scripture and great advise, but how often do we apply the whole writing, everyday?!
16 Be joyful always
Easy to say on the good days, but what about the days of trial? When you're down and out do you find joy in God's everyday beauty? Or are you so focused on the problem at hand that you forget to even look?
While in a depressive funk about a year and a half ago, I discovered my "joy" and such a joy they are! I discovered God had given me a gift to love and enjoy; my children are my joy! Every once in a while I do have to ask God to help me enjoy my joy.
17 Pray continually
Maybe a little easier during the difficult times in our lives, as we pray for God's help, comfort, peace, healing, etc. It's easy to remember to pray when we need His divine assistance, but what about the other times?
Philippians 4:6 tells us not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. So why shouldn't we pray for help finding that close parking spot on a rainy day when the kids are with you? Why not pray for help deciding what to feed the family?
Just recently I quietly prayed for help and safety merging in traffic. Once safely in the lane, I said, quite audibly, "thank you, Lord!" and was scoffed at. Nothing is too big or too small for God!
18 Give thanks in all circumstances
Yes, read it again, it does say ALL. That means giving thanks during the trials.
And I did, I'd give thanks for all the blessings in my life. I would remember to be thankful for my family, my health, my family's health... It wasn't until very recently that I was reminded to be thankful for the trial itself. I truly believe God does NOT punish, He is a kind and loving God. I do believe He allows things to happen to us, for us to reap what we sow. But on that note, I feel in my heart, God uses these trials to mold us, to shape us into better Christians, to bring us closer to Him who loves us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
I don't know what purpose this trial has in my life but I know God will see me through and that I will be better for it.