“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Last month we officially reached the one-year milestone of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen death, trauma, sickness, job loss, and more. Even beyond that, we have untold stories of many that are dealing with mental health issues as a result of the isolation mandates enforced by our government officials. Many of our churches have struggled with distance (inability to fellowship with other believers physically), financially, as well as emotionally. Fear swept the land and anxiety crippled the minds of many. However, here is the good news: We are still here!
The scripture I referenced is a reminder that the will of God is for us to be thankful in ALL circumstances. In spite of it all, we have reasons to be thankful, below I will list two scriptural reminders:
· Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” The key word here is “all”. All things, EVERYRTHING will work for our good! Why? Because we love God and are called according to His purpose. ALL things means even a pandemic!!!
· Isaiah 43:2 “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Looking back over the last year we should truly be grateful. When the waters were difficult, He was right there. When the fires raged around us, He kept us. The difficulties of this year didn’t consume us!
Throughout scripture we can see that before every BREAKTHROUGH, there was what resembled a BREAKDOWN. Let this encourage you, although there still may be some clouds in the sky, although uncertainty concerning the immediate future still remains, we still have a reason the be thankful. Our God is still on the throne, and He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us.
The two preceding verses of Thessalonians 5:18 say, “16 Always be joyful and never stop praying.”
Thankful people are joyful people, and they remain in prayer. In this next season, it’s imperative that we pray like never before. We need to pray for our nation, our leadership, our communities, and for each other. Once we leave our prayer closets, we need to remain joyful. That joy will do two things: One, it will change the climate of every place that you go. Two, it will give you an opportunity to share the source of your joy, which is our Lord Jesus Christ.
Be joyful, be thankful, and never stop praying.