You may have noticed I left something out. Paul said, “Rejoice always,” but that’s not all he said. It’s risky to pick a couple of words out of the Bible without checking to see what they mean in context. But, hey, you are busy; you don’t have time for long blog posts. That’s my excuse – it’s your fault.
But what else did he say? Part of it is this next phrase:
“Pray continually…” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Continually? Really? It’s bad enough Paul wants me to be rejoicing all the time but now he wants me to go through life with my eyes closed and my hands folded? Obviously, not. More like, “Keep the lines of communication with God open all the time.” You are driving down the highway and see someone parked with his emergency blinkers going. Should you stop? Ask the One Who knows. Like that. He said He would take up residence with you (John 14:23), so don’t miss out. Ask.
As Jesus taught, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
Prayer doesn’t have to be formally announced (“Lettuce spray”). You can simply check in with a quick question or request. When you get in the habit, this kind of prayer is a real source of clarity and strength. It’s part of how and why Paul said to “rejoice always.”
But not all. I left something out again. Maybe next time…
Love this post!
Let me quess what’s next–give thanks in all things. Did Paul really need to use those absolutes like “all”, “every”, “continually”? Wouldn’t most of the time be good enough? In my case, I would almost be satisfied with once in a while…but not really.
The absolute that is getting to me right now is “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Cor 10:5 That “every” really trips me up, but I am seeing more and more how necessary it is. One little negative thought can mess with me all day.