Full of Joy and Thanks

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, NIV)

Always be full of joy. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ERV)

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, MSG)

Always be full of joy is the version that is most easily grasped. This does not mean we must always be happy, but rather it means that we carry the joy of the Lord within us wherever we go, no matter what is going on around us or in us. His joy is not dependent on circumstances. To never stop praying is our reminder to be in constant communication with Christ. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and when we communicate with Him, He reveals more of Himself and who He has created us to be. Gratitude is a practice that most of us could use more of in our lives. To be grateful does not mean that we are necessarily thanking God for our circumstances, but rather that we are thanking Him for being with us, walking beside us, and leading us in the ways that we are meant to go. His heart is for us to belong completely to Him. As we do, we understand who we are in Him, and how He is calling us to live. May we ever seek the Lord to grow us more and more in His joy as we continually pray to Him and give Him all of our gratitude.

Hold closely to joy,

Planted deep within;

All hope in the Lord,

Is what shines light in.

As we keep praying,

Love and thanks do grow;

For His heart’s for us,

He’s where good’s made known.

In faith, keep praying,

Keep trusting in Him;

His love overwhelms,

As we let Him in.

May we give God thanks,

In each circumstance;

For His sweet presence,

And the strength to stand.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always good and in Whom we find joy and peace, strength and hope, no matter what our circumstances include. Thank You that You are available to be with us whenever we call on Your Name. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed what surrounds us to impact our joy and gratitude in You. Teach us to remember that our joy is found in You, and that as we are in ongoing communication with You, our joy grows more and more. Show us how to love those around us with peace, patience, goodness and kindness that point hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold the joy You deposit in our hearts, pray to You as if it is the air that we breathe, and give You all of our gratitude each day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in. – Philippians 4:11

The Courage to Hope

So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised. – (Hebrews 10:35-36, HCSB)

So don’t lose the courage that you had in the past. Your courage will be rewarded richly. You must be patient. After you have done what God wants, you will get what He promised you. – (Hebrews 10:35-36, ERV)

Remember this, and do not abandon your confidence, which will lead to rich rewards. Simply endure, for when you have done as God requires of you, you will receive the promise. – (Hebrews 10:35-36, VOICE)

This confidence is the courage that comes from trusting in God. He provides as we abide, and He will lead us through all that He has called us to do. Our reward is the hope and help that we have in the here and now, and the promise to be in His presence for eternity. The Lord blesses and keeps us, helps and holds us, and loves us through all that comes our way. May we ever hold fast to the confidence we have in Him, and keep moving forward in the direction to which we have been called. He is faithful, and will see us through all things.

The courage to hope,

In what is unseen;

Is true confidence,

God says what He means.

His presence, promised,

And hope for much more;

Grace to keep going,

Love that He outpours.

Endurance given,

So we persevere;

Trust in His goodness,

And that He is near.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can be confident in You and have courage to keep pressing forward because You are with us. Thank You that our ability to persevere comes from You, not from our own strength. Thank You that You meet us where we are, and walk alongside us to where You are leading. Forgive us for our frustration when the road is not smooth. Teach us to hold fast to You, and to trust that You will continue to be faithful as You bring us to the places of promises fulfilled. Teach us to trust You more, especially when the way does not seem to be headed where we thought we would go. Show us how to love, encourage and walk alongside all those whom You have placed in our lives in this season. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to do what You say You will do, and lean into Your love that holds us up. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are His house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. – Hebrews 3:6