“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
At first glance that may sound a little lofty, maybe a little overly pious, something pretty disconnected from real life. Rejoice always? Even in the midst of a pandemic? Pray continually? While my brain is jammed with work demands, and the children’s at home learning, and worries about infection? Give thanks in all circumstances? Even for the Corona virus?
No, you don’t give thanks for the Corona virus. It is an evil thing. A bit of creation twisted by the devil. We curse the virus and pray to God to destroy it. But Paul didn’t say that you should give thanks FOR all circumstances. He said you should give thanks IN all circumstances. Even in the worst situations we can thank God for his continued blessings. Give thanks for family and friends. Give thanks for your daily bread. Give thanks for your redemption, for forgiveness, for your place in heaven. In the same way you can rejoice over these things. In the midst of great sadness and anxiety, you still have reason for rejoicing in the cross of Jesus Christ.
What will you do today? Along side all the worries, and troubles, and anxieties, layoffs, pay cuts and other hardships, God has a plan for you. “For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” That’s right. No matter what else is happening in your life, God’s will is that you remember to “rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.”
Dear Lord, grant us all grace to do your will today. By doing so we know that our spirit will be lifted and your peace will rest upon us. Amen.