WHEN OUR HEARTS ALIGN WITH GOD’S, WE ARE JOYFUL, PRAYERFUL, THANKFUL
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
God’s will for us is to be ever joyful, prayerful and thankful. How do we live this out in our daily walk? By the work of the Holy Spirit within us… filling us with His love, peace and power.
“Let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever shout for joy.” — Psalm 5:11
Always rejoice — The enemy seeks to steal our joy. He knows that if we become mired in our worldly problems, our eyes will not be on the Lord. When we allow life’s frustrations, disappointments and regrets to defeat us, we succumb to the ploys of the enemy. To be joyful, we need to look beyond our present circumstances… and look to the One who can help us rise above them and resist the enemy’s attacks.
Happiness depends on what happens. Joy depends on God. Happiness comes from outward conditions. Joy comes from inner strength, faith and peace. Our gracious God seeks to pour out His blessings upon us. He is the Source of our joy. We recognize His unconditional love and compassion, and His joy overflows into our spirit. Without that vital connection, our joy quickly ebbs away.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” — Romans 12:12
Always pray — Quiet times with the Lord are key to cultivating a vibrant relationship with Him. Yet we are called to pray without ceasing… not just during our prayer time. Throughout our day, we can seek to stay united to Him. If we do, we will enjoy His presence with us and experience His enduring peace.
When we remember that the Holy Spirit lives within us, we can look to Him for wisdom, help and guidance. We realign our thoughts with His. Our focus shifts from pursuing our own agendas to seeking His. As we share our joys, concerns, fears… all of our innermost feelings, we sense His love and concern for us. When we keep this holy union intact through the course of our day, we need never feel alone.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!” — Psalm 107:1
Always give thanks — Maintaining an attitude of gratitude keeps us looking heavenward. We no longer view our lives from a worldly perspective and its shallow pursuits. We turn our minds to our blessings rather than our needs and desires. Our lives become full.
Giving thanks in the good times comes naturally. Giving thanks when times are difficult is a challenge. Yet we are to give thanks in everything, not for everything. On the mountains or in the valleys, we can thank our God always, knowing that He is our Emmanuel, “God with us”. In Him, we will triumph.
Thanks and praise go hand in hand. Our God, who bestows upon us His infinite blessings, forever deserves our praise. When our hearts unite with God’s heart, our attitude becomes joyful, prayerful and thankful. We become a reflection of Him as His will comes alive in us.