“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Whether reading self-help books or magazines, one reoccurring theme stands out: The most contented people are those who keep a positive attitude! In a recent article on the topic of aging, I read that, while there is nothing we can do to stop its progression, one thing is entirely within our power to control in the process and it is our attitude. While we cannot always change the circumstances around us, including getting older, we can control how we react to them.
Give thought for a moment to the people in your life you most enjoy being around. Now, would you say they are grumpy, complaining or self-absorbed, or, are they joyful, encouraging and grateful in life in general? We will not always avoid negative action but we will usually do our best to avoid negative people! Another sad commentary on aging is the loneliness and isolation one may feel upon entering our later years of life. Loneliness leads to resentment, which leads to isolation, which then, becomes a vicious cycle. It is not my suggestion that we not be able to grieve losses, whatever they may be. The Scripture passage leading into this writing instructs that we should give thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) It doesn’t tell us to give thanks for all circumstances. It would be irrational to thank God for the very things that are the result of living in a sinful world, such as death, sickness and the effects of greed. Yet, in spite of these things, we do still, each one of us, have much for which to be grateful.
Please pause long enough to look beyond your current circumstances. What do you “see”? Are you able to find just one thing that brings you joy? Reflect on Jesus and the offering of His gift to have a personal, eternal relationship with our heavenly Father. Have you accepted His most generous and amazing gift?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things…And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:4-9 emphasis mine)
Lord, open my eyes to the beauty of Your presence! AMEN
To The One Who will show us “the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)