Maintaining a Joyful Life
Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.–1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As athletes we have good days and bad. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. I like winning better. Enough losses in a row and any of us can get a little down. So how do we maintain a joyful life? The Bible provides some answers. In Paul’s first letter to Thessalonica, he wrote three directives and one reason combining to show us the way to a joyful life:
Rejoice always: More than a command, this reassures us that we can find something to be joyful about in every circumstance. Lead with our will, and let our emotions follow.
Pray constantly: If taken seriously, we’d never sleep, eat, or study—probably not what he meant. Surely he meant there is never a situation in which prayer is not proper and powerful.
Give thanks in everything: Not for everything, but in everything. In all situations give thanks and we’ll cultivate a joyful, thankful attitude that rises above any circumstance.
This is the will of God in Christ for us. The Lord joins in our rejoicing, He communes with us when we pray, and He blesses us when we thank Him. He is most desirous of an intimate, personal relationship with us and knows these things deepen that relationship.
While preparing for competition, follow these instructions: rejoice—have fun; pray—talk to God; and give thanks—thank Him. In doing this, we fulfill God’s will.
1. In what area (joy, prayer, thankfulness) do you struggle the most?
2. What is one way you can remind yourself to have the right attitude?
Psalms 5:11; 28:7; Romans 12:11-12; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 2:6-7; 4:2
Thank You, Father, for hearing my prayers. Fill me with Your joy, today, Lord, and allow me to see that through all things, You are working for my benefit. Amen.