Smile—It’s God’s Will!

Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

When I was growing up, many of my experiences revolved around the church. It was twice on Sunday, Wednesday night plus special services thrown in for good measure. Most of the people were a great example, but then there was the woman on the other side of the church that looked like she had been baptized in vinegar!

I can almost hear some of you yell out that you had the same woman in your congregation. Sadly, there always seems to be at least one in every crowd. They frown and complain about everything.

Just about all of we kids imitated the way she carried on and the horrible faces she would make. There may have been joy in her soul, but she did a good job of hiding it from her face and with her words!

What should the true Christian look and act like? According to this passage in 1 Thessalonians, our face should express joy at all times. Wait a minute! Did I just say that? Well it wasn’t me, it was what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians.

“Be joyful always.” That does not say sometimes or when we feel like it, but we are to be joyful always. Even in when we have just received devastating news we should be joyful. Not because we are like spiritual robots, but because we have the Lord in our hearts to comfort and guide us.

If I stopped here it would be like leaving you in outer space. There is more we are also told, “Pray continually.” What are we going to do about working, sleeping and the other normal activities of life?

Praying continually means that we are to maintain a close relationship with the Lord. Let me give you a practical example. In our modern day world, texting has become an art form.

I struggle looking at the three letters on each button on the keypad. Young people are able to make the keys fly. They are able to text each other even when they are in the same room—much to the distress of their teachers.

What are they doing? They are communicating. That is the close relationship the Lord desires for us to have with Him. It is a constant sharing of our heart with His great heart, knowing He cares for us and delights in our conversation.

There is a third step in today’s Scripture—we are to, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” This is similar to the first directive for us to always be joyful. It is our acknowledgment that we agree with what God is doing with our life.

Think about Bible heroes whom God used in a mighty way after they had endured trials of many kinds: Joseph, Moses, Daniel, just to name three. God knew what He was doing even when it was hidden from them at the beginning.

I have no way of knowing what you are going through right now, but read over these three steps once more: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.” Do you know why? “For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” That is good enough reason for me!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

— Pastor Cecil

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