Rejoice Always

April 3, 2020

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sound carries loud across backyard into the house.

Excited exclamations punctuated by shrieks and screams as I try to concentrate and work.

Irritated, I rise and look out the back porch, flung open wide to embrace the cool evening air.

Boys and dad fish illegally in the back yard pond.

I watch slightly annoyed by the intrusion.

In the midst of a season littered with disease and death, this simple scene touches me.

I could scold them and say they have no right to be there, reclaim the silence concentration requires.

Instead, I breathe in and out, watch and give thanks.

Thanks for the boys who shriek in delight with their dad.

No tablets or phones in sight.

Embracing the moment.

When I give thanks for the small, I make room for God.

Magnify Him with thanksgiving.

It’s always a choice – do I magnify the fractures and breaks?

The moments gone wrong?

Or God?

Praying without ceasing is only possible in a life of continual thanks.

In my season of difficulty, the Lord is showing me the importance of thanking Him.

Naming the gifts because He always gives.

Prayer warrior Daniel did it.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:10

Prayers of thanksgiving tame lions.

Philippians 4:6 tells me to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

1 Timothy 2:1 says, First, I tell you to pray for all people, asking God for what they need and being thankful to Him.

Giving thanks pleases God.

Acknowledges and magnifies Him.

The only way to be a person of prayer is to be a person of thanks. Click To Tweet

Discontent and frustration is me kicking goads – wanting my way instead of God’s.

Giving thanks surrenders what I want for what He has.

It’s trusting what He gives me is part of His good plan – even when it feels bad.

That what He gives is enough.

The Bible also speaks of thank offerings:

Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy. Psalms 107:22

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. Psalms 116:17

Thanking Him honors Him.

Naming His gifts, makes the invisible goodness of God visible.

Sacrifice means it’s not always easy.

I search and come up empty.

The gift giver waits patiently for me to look around and see.

See the gift He’s provided even in this place of desert and drought.

In these moments, acknowledging His presence becomes a gift I can give Him.

An offering.

An act of worship.

It’s easy to thank God in the winner’s circle, when I get a promotion or raise.

When I thank Him in a season where it seems I’ve lost everything, it becomes an offering.

Rejoice always.

Pray without ceasing.

In everything give thanks.

This is the abundant, spirit filled life He has for us.

It’s why He tells us to think about (focus on) whatever is pure, lovely and admirable.

When I look around with eyes to see, I realize He’s brought the garden to me.

In spite of everything, He walks with me.

There’s beauty, goodness and grace.

He never leaves or forsakes me – no matter how far I fall.

In the giving and receiving of salvation, there is love and life everlasting.

Thank Him for the gifts.

Thank Him for His love.

Thank Him.

Father God, Lord Jesus,

Thank you. Thank you for calling me out of darkness and calling me Your own. You’ve given me everything I need to live an abundant, Spirit filled life. Forgive me for wanting different and more. Forgive me for wanting my way and will instead of Yours. Today I choose to give You praise and thanksgiving for all You’ve done for me. For your care and provision, Your grace and mercy. Thank you for love that never fails. Thank you for Your patience as You stretch and grow me while I complain about the growing pains. Lord, You are good, just, true – I trust You and Your ways. The servant is not above the master. I pray to live in ways that honor and glorify You. I choose praise and worship and to trust who You are in hard places. I choose to live a life of thanksgiving. I love You Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit. In Your Precious, Matchless Name I pray, Amen.

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

    1. Liz. I love you. People have asked me if living behind Imagine bothers me and at first it did but then I realized I was listening to life! Childhood. Children living without the stress of what’s going on in the world. Remember those days? Now that it’s silent because of the virus….. I miss it. I miss hearing the laughter and the giggles. I’m so blessed to be able to watch my grandchildren during this. I love them so much. We have fun and the outside world doesn’t intrude. Thankful and blessed 🙏

    1. It is a season to be thankful for what we do have. Thankful for the life in the small and big and that whatever we are going through will also pass.

      1. Hi Barbara! Yes! Wonderful words – thank you my friend. It’s hard if not impossible to be in fear and gratitude at the same time. I think we found the antidote! So good to be connected again. ❤️😁

    1. Ah! That’s me inhaling and exhaling. Your poetic writings are always a breath of fresh air. You are so right, “It’s easy to thank God in the winner’s circle, when I get a promotion or raise. When I thank Him in a season where it seems I’ve lost everything, it becomes an offering.” So true! So very, very true! That are losses and hurts and tragedies occurring all around us and to us and in this. And yet, when we praise the Lord in all of that, in all of the lack of control and bursts of terror and letting go and great loss, then we’ve truly presented an offering of praise. Then we’ve seen him. Then we’ve shown that we truly do love him and know that he is with us in both the good and the bad. Thank you for this today, Liz.

      1. Oh Melinda….you’re ability to write and translate my heart! Your comment could be a post! Thank you for your comment and taking the time to read – I have missed you! ❤️

    1. Oh, I love how you said acknowledging His presence is a gift we can give Him! I am reminded of the verse in Song of Solomon (of course, can’t remember the reference off the top of my head!) that tells us God is overcome with love for us every time we glance at Him. What a beautiful reminder!

      1. Hi Emily, Love your comment that has me running to my Bible to find that phrase – Love that! I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read and comment and love the name of your blog – To Unearth – definitely checking it out! Blessings friend

      1. Thanks Melissa! It’s a lesson God is teaching me….gratitude used to be hard for me. As a “problem solver” I tended to focus on things that needed to be fixed, changed or resolved and often forgot to be thankful for what’s good. The Lord is changing me and showing me through difficulty it’s all part of His purpose and plan. I can always be thankful because He is good. Thanks for reading and commenting – it sincerely means a lot.

    1. Liz, as you write about, life is seldom all good or all bad, but rather a mix of both. So when times get tough and we are faced with loss and grief it does help to search and find the good that is always there. When we take the time to notice the blessings and the good we move away from grumbling and complaining and room is opened up for God and thanksgiving.

      1. Hi Anne! Such an excellent comment – you’ve obviously walked this out. I’ve come to believe thanking Him in the midst of trial and hardship shifts my focus and ushers in His presence. It’s in the thanking I find Him…and He is good so there’s always something to be grateful for. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment – sincerely love what you wrote. xoxo Blessings friend.

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