Is It Possible to Rejoice Always???

Rejoice Always

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.      New International Version, 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18.

All across South Africa, electricity load-shedding is a reality right now.

Rejoice always

Jake is ultra-sensitive and hyper-emotional with his dad away on a nine-day ministry trip.

Pray continually

Our internet is on-again-off-again-on-again-off-again.

Give thanks in all circumstances

Okay, I admit that none of these things is a huge, huge deal. Yet, each one caused a ripple effect in our family this week.

What do I mean?

Well, since one of the coal silos at Eskom’s Majuba power station in Mpumalanga, South Africa has collapsed, the load-shedding situation across the nation led to Micah’s swimming gala to be cancelled this week. Bummer!

…for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Jake is our kid who is most affected by John’s absence. Everything, in Jake’s mind, is in order, when our family is all together. One of his autism behavioral needs is to experience consistency. When John is gone on a ministry trip, in Jake’s view, things go askew. Small things in our estimation, that wouldn’t necessarily trip any of us up, seem to heighten Jake’s sensitivities and his anxiety. He needs extra love, extra hugs, and extra patience during these times.

…for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Our internet has been intermittent due to an old router that we put back into use (the day before John left for Malawi), because our newer one stopped working. Thus, it is difficult to communicate by email, Skype, Facebook, download from the internet for our Happy Blue School work, or to blog on InsteadBless. I do a lot of written communication and need the internet to be consistent. It’s not! In addition, I have a Skype call with a dear friend that we’ve been trying to make happen for quite a while now, and the very week we finally had a window of opportunity….zap!

…for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Can you relate?

When life’s various circumstances with both minor and major implications occur, are we able to rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances and embrace the idea that these things are God’s will for us in Christ Jesus? Or do we want to push back and say, “No! I refuse to accept these situations are the will of God?”

The three scenarios I have shared about our week are not hugely significant when I consider other challenges our family has experienced both past and present since moving to South Africa.

Cancer

Death of Family Members in the States

Emotional Abuse

Robbery

Rejection

Betrayal

Injuries

Educational Hurdles

Financial Difficulties

and more…

As I read through the list and remember these situations, I confess that some pierced my heart more than others.

With cancer, I leaned into my God and chose to journey with Him. I experienced His peace. There were days when I cried, and I cried hard. Yet, I was determined to accept cancer into my life and do all that I physically, emotionally, and mentally could to send it on its way and be healed. I sought healing not only for myself, but for my family.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

However, when one of my children was emotionally abused and rejected, this was more difficult for me. My heart was torn in half. John and I removed our son from this hurtful environment and chose a new path.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

When our old car proved to be completely unreliable, and we had no other form of transportation, John and I had to depend on others for assistance for over two years. It took this amount of time to raise the financial provision we needed to purchase something better.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Are you able to proclaim these words in your current situation as well?

How is it possible?

Especially when we are in the middle of a torturous time?

When I think about some of the difficult challenges some are facing  throughout the world – malaria, ebola, HIV/AIDS, persecution, imprisonment, martyrdom, financial struggles, alcoholism, adultery, death of a loved one, and more, how can it be said:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Friends, there is only one way.

We find the ability to live through, rejoice through, pray through, and give thanks through these challenges in Christ Jesus.

Some may say that Jesus is not the only One to whom we may turn during such times. It is true – others may decide to follow a different path. Certainly, there are many offers from other faiths, other substances, and other people that may work for a time. However, I contend that the only way to peace, acceptance, and joy in both minor and major challenges is through the love, strength, and power of Jesus Christ. I contend that Jesus Christ, who lives in me, empowers me to accept the will of God – even when difficult things happen. Jesus came to earth to show us the pathway to an abundant and fulfilling life in Him. When our confidence is found in Christ, when circumstances develop that appear to contradict His will, we can find solace and comfort that God’s perfect will is being accomplished in them.

In Christ Jesus, I am able to face cancer.

In Christ Jesus, I am able to forgive my child’s emotional abuser.

In Christ Jesus, I am able to depend upon my God for financial provision.

In Christ Jesus, I am able to handle power outages.

In Christ Jesus, I am able to be patient with my son.

In Christ Jesus, I am able to work around an intermittent internet connection.

In Christ Jesus, I am able to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.

Will you?

Photo image from Google Search

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close