Sunday, July 27, 2008

Verse of the week -- I Thessalonians 5:18

What does God want me to do?

What direction should I take from here?

How do I know the will of God?

Some questions I don't know the answers to. Sometimes the directions seem foggy. Sometimes I feel a bit uncertain, afraid, lost. Still, some things I should never doubt.

Regardless of the amount of uncertainty pressing in around me, I must give thanks. I Thessalonians 5:18 says, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Two truths jump out of this verse at me. First, "in everything." Sometimes I wish that said after a victory, in the midst of celebration, at the birth of a baby, at successfully reached milestones, in the good times, when the weather is nice. But, it doesn't. It says in everything. When the kids are whiny, when I feel sick and weak, at the death of a loved one, during failure and defeat, even through cabin fever. Definitely still working on practicing that truth on a regular basis. Thankfulness to God for all He has done doesn't necessarily change the situation, but it changes our outlook. I am reminded of the promise in Philippians 4:6,7. If we choose to lay aside our anxiety and come to God in prayer, with thanksgiving, His peace will guard our hearts and minds. I need to remember that tomorrow when potty training drains my patience, when messes spill onto the floor, and lessons meet with resistance. It's not my wise handling of these situations (ha, ha) that brings peace, it's God.

The second truth that hung around my mental ponderings was that this is God's will for me. Sometimes we face times of significant change in our lives and we wonder what God wants us to do. What's His will? That we give thanks, in everything. Again, the decision still may seem hazy, the direction still uncertain, but His peace will control us through it all. What a great reassurance. For some reason I keep coming back to the passage in Isaiah that says His ways and thoughts are far above ours. We so often get stuck in our human perspective of life, but as we surrender it all to Him with thanksgiving for His working in our lives, we find His peace, and the reassurance that He is in control with vastly more wisdom than we could ever bring to the table.

The challenge of the week, to give thanks in everything . . . out of obedience to His will.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

~I Thessalonians 5:18~

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