After some downer posts this week, I thought I’d write a more uppity one, because my mood is uppity compared to the previous weekish (am I using that word correctly?). The only explination I can come up with is that my mood uplifting is really an answer to prayer, because life is still pretty cruddy (and it RAINED a ton today, which left the sky in a dreary setting until this afternoon, when the sun peeked out once). So, I’ve been looking a lot at 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. These are some pretty awesome verses. Read here:
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Let’s break it down, shall we? REJOICE ALWAYS. John Wesley, in his commentary, writes that this means “in uninterrupted happiness in God.” Rejoice in the dictionary means “to make joyful; gladden.” Let’s rejoice. Are you happy with God? I feel like in the last few days of “ugh”-ness, I have been trying to cling tighter to him. Hence, I am seeing him more and talking to him more. He gives me so many reasons to rejoice, that I can’t even speak sometimes, I’m so overwhelmed by it! So I just write THANK YOU in my journal while I pray to him in all caps. PRAY CONTINUALLY. The man John Wesley comments that this is the fruit of always rejoicing in the Lord. Prayer isn’t just folding your hands and reciting words you’ve used a thousand times. Prayer is a spirit, and the Spirit intercedes. It’s simply astounding, and I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that God, the mighty and powerful creator of the universe, takes time to hear each and every one of our prayers from each of us. That is a rant for another post, but seriously, read Romans 8:26-27. Why do we always come to God in prayer with a laundry list of needs and wants? Lift up his name! Thank him! And, those things are easier to do when we’re rejoicing always. GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. Wesley writes a whole big paragraph about this, but it’s good stuff, so I’ll let you read it: “Which is the fruit of both the former. This is Christian perfection. Farther than this we cannot go; and we need not stop short of it. Our Lord has purchased joy, as well as righteousness, for us. It is the very design of the gospel that, being saved from guilt, we should be happy in the love of Christ. Prayer may be said to be the breath of our spiritual life. He that lives cannot possibly cease breathing. So much as we really enjoy of the presence of God, so much prayer and praise do we offer up without ceasing; else our rejoicing is but delusion. Thanksgiving is inseparable from true prayer: it is almost essentially connected with it. He that always prays is ever giving praise, whether in ease or pain, both for prosperity and for the greatest adversity. He blesses God for all things, looks on them as coming from him, and receives them only for his sake; not choosing nor refusing, liking nor disliking, anything, but only as it is agreeable or disagreeable to his perfect will.” Give thanks in all circumstances. Now, I’m from Minnesota, and Howard Mohr, author of “How to Talk Minnesotan,” explained the term that Minnesotans use: “could be worse.” I guess I’ve always been thankful for what I have, that it isn’t worse. I’m thankful I have MS instead of something fatal. But we should be thankful for everything. Like the fact that I’m here, at school, and am another semester away from graduating. Or the fact that God has given me some pretty awesome gifts, and others see it, bringing up and talking about seminary with me (that is a whole ‘nother discussion for later). Be thankful! FOR THIS (Wesley says, “that you should thus rejoice, pray, give thanks”) IS THE WILL OF GOD (“always good, always pointing at out salvation). The will of God is pretty big. And it’s perfect. I know in decision times, it’s easy to ask, “What is God’s will for my life?” Instead we should be asking, “Where does my life fit into God’s will?” Because, honestly, his will is bigger than us. Read the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20. This is what God has been doing from the beginning, trying to draw people closer to himself (again, another story for another post. For more information, page through THE BIBLE, but because that’s really long, you can take my word on it?).
Anyhoo, I’ve made a calendar of events until graduation. I figured out where I’m going to be this summer (home), and I keep finding opportunities there, which is good. God’s got the go-ahead, as I’m done fighting with him over this summer. It’s better this way, really. (Word of advice that I’ve heard a million times but don’t realize I’m countering it: don’t fight with God, as his way is ALWAYS better, even if we don’t like it.)
Find something to smile about today! It’s almost Friday. J