“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
a trio of answers published week of jUNE 20, 2021
Times are changing, politics is changing, people are changing, and morality in our country is changing. There seems to be a de-evolution happening with anything that man is involved in or with. Yes, I realize this has been happening since that first bite of the forbidden fruit, but the difference is now that it seems to be more rapidly progressing. With technology, we see these changes real-time and frankly it is unsettling and scary.
As pilgrims (not citizens) on this earth, the moral decay should cause Christ followers to long even more for our true home (heaven). Oh, to be finally home with Jesus means to be free from this fallen world, and from our sinful flesh. However, Christ tarries His return. Certainly, God is well aware of all the hypocrisy, greed, manipulation and injustice in this world. But in His kindness, He waits for men to repent of their sins and bow their lives to His lordship.
So, as His children, what are we to do as we wait? How do we handle the frustration, despair, and even fear that sometimes wells up within our being while we trod the sod of this decaying world we inhabit? The answer is found in the letter the Apostle Paul writes to the early church at Thessalonica (see 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God wants us to rejoice, pray continually, and thank Him. Yes, the answer may seem a bit simplistic or one could even say sarcastic. After all, on the surface, what possible good will these injunctions do? Drum roll as I give the answer . . . it will please the heart of God; and that is all we need to know. Take note of this trio of answers given in this text: First, we rejoice always, we are to rejoice in His character. He is sovereign and good – all the time. He won’t leave injustice unpunished and He will avenge the wrong done to His people, even if He seems silent now. Secondly, we pray continually, that is not so much a constant conscious communication with God, but rather it is an abiding dependence on Him. It is praying often and consistently in this dependence on His Spirit. It means never giving up, even when we may not see an immediate answer, or understand how God is working. We persevere in prayer by faith, believing that God’s will is being done on earth as it is in heaven. Thirdly, give thanks, we thank Him for saving us, and for His patience with those still rebelling against Him. We thank Him for all good gifts He gives us daily. Oftentimes, we do everything but these three imperatives, and instead we complain, debate, volunteer, give, research, and even vote. But, do we pray? Do we rejoice and thank God? Are we searching for solutions in man, or in the only One who has the power to truly change our hearts, and our nation?
“Heavenly Father, You are the ruler over all creation. I acknowledge that You spoke all things into existence. Please forgive me for looking in other places for answers, comfort and hope. I truly recognize that my deepest needs can only be met in You, by You, and through You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”