Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB)
This can be a tough verse to live by, yet it is what we are called to do. This is the WILL of God. We are not suppose to be sulking Christians. The Bible says that we WILL go through difficulties…hardships…tribulations. And guess what?! We are to REJOICE…PRAY…GIVE THANKS! We can do this because the joy of The Lord is our strength. People often ask me how we have gotten through our hard times this past year…how we haven’t lost faith or hope… But I tell you I have done nothing but draw closer to my God! My hope does not lie with anything of this world or even in my present circumstance. I am thankful for the trial because through this God is showing us a new journey that we may not have been able to witness to if we would have had our old life. My hope is in Jesus….not in things of this world. Does that mean that it hasn’t been difficult or that I haven’t needed encouragement? Absolutely not!
I am thankful for the small handful of people who lived out this scripture,
“Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “T HE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED Y OU FELL ON M E.” For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:1-6 NASB)
There have been a handful of people who have come up and asked to pray with me. I love that. We are to encourage one another during our trials and hardships. That is what it means to walk in community and relationship with one another.
Don’t just be involved in someone’s life by watching them on social media. Or even observing from a distance. Relationship is what God calls us too! Pray with one another. Cry with one another. Actively get involved in one’s life. All of us need encouragement to persevere in this life. To push through the difficult days.
My strength is from God. But I do have times of weakness and need the encouragement of a brother or sister in Christ to pray WITH me not just for me. We ALL need this in our lives. The Holy Spirit inside of us longs and desires for this relationship too.
My encouragement for you this day is to seek relationship. First, a deeper relationship with God. Second, deeper relationships with the believers around you. Stop living in the fast food society. Slow down. You are missing all that God has right in front of you. Opportunities missed because you are living by your own agenda and not God’s.
The church is dead because we don’t go deep. We stay surface level with God, missing the freedom we have through Christ. It remains dead because we remain surface level with one another. God is not dead, but yet the church lives as if He is! We should be bubbling over with all God has done for us.
Where is the testimony? Why do we not hear the testimony any more of God’s faithfulness? What has God done in your life? Where has He been faithful to you? Let’s encourage each other today! Share God’s faithfulness in your life!