Rejoice . . . always
Pray . . . without ceasing
Give thanks . . . in everything
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
The result of rejoicing always? I'M HAPPY
The result of praying without ceasing? I HAVE A SENSE OF PEACE AND SECURITY
The result of giving thanks in everything? I'M CONTENT
So . . .
The will of God is that I am happy and have a sense of peace and security and contentment.
Isn't that what EVERYONE wants?
The problem is we think we can attain these through our own means. But God gives us the means, the path, the formula:
IN CHRIST JESUS
As Christians we know this intellectually, but I, for one, forget to intentionally do the rejoicing, the praying, the giving thanks; always, without ceasing, and in everything. Why? Because I've taken my eyes off of Jesus Christ. It's a moment by moment, day by day, focused, disciplined, decision to keep the focus on HIM, " . . . for in Him we live and move and have our being . . " Acts 17:28
I want to be happy, peaceful, secure and content. God wants me to be happy, peaceful, secure and content at all times. He has given me the formula.He's given me the power. I can only conclude that it is my own foolishness that could ever keep me from it.
The "secret" of God's Word is in its simplicity. We always make it harder than it is. Keeping our eyes on Him around the clock requires dedicated prayer, reading of the Word, checking negative thoughts and replacing them with good ones, holding our tongue. Nothing new or earth-shattering, right? But if we yawn at that, then we've missed it. Period. We know it, but don't do it. It's always our choice.