“Always be joyful. Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 (NLT)
A Call To: Praise
As we are walking with Jesus during this season of Lent, it’s hard to think of this season as joyful. If you have watched any Easter movies depicting the last days of Jesus on earth, then you have seen the pain and misery He went through. So how can we always be “joyful?” The answer is simple. Joy isn’t an emotion. It’s a deep knowing that our God is in charge and in the end, we win. We don’t always understand the why’s, but we can always put our trust in a loving God who is working all things for our good. Paul, the writer of this book, also wrote a letter to the Church at Ephesus. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he tells them to “Rejoice in the Lord, always.” Where was Paul when he wrote that? Was he in his home sitting on his favorite chair enjoying his favorite beverage? No, he was in prison. The prisons then were dark and gloomy. His future was uncertain. But Paul said- rejoice! He saw the positive because he had complete trust in God.
So where can we get this strength to be joyful? The verse right after this is the key. Never stop praying. Prayer gives us the strength. Prayer is the pipeline to the source of joy. When we plug into the Holy Spirit, we are connected to real joy – no matter what the circumstance. Prayer isn’t something we just say over a meal or at the beginning of church meetings as if it were a “to do” item we check off our list. No, it’s continuous. The Holy Spirit is with us 24 hours a day. Prayer is a conversation we can have and it’s as simple as whispering His name – Jesus.
On a scale of 1-10, how joyful am I? Is there an area where I need to trust God more?
Praise + Prayer:
Lord, I want to have joy in my life. Forgive me for not always trusting you. I need You in every area of my life. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit that is with me every moment of my day. I am not alone. You are with me and I am grateful. In Jesus’ name, Amen