Joyful Prayer in All Circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:16Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – If we continue in prayer, through the good times and the bad, if we thank God for the good and thank Him for being with us in the bad, we can learn the secret of being joyful always.

My Advice – Don’t let the pursuit of happiness be your primary motivation. It will disappoint you because happiness depends upon circumstances. Rather let the pursuit of joy be your motivation. You can have joy despite the circumstances.

Pay Back or Pay Forward?

1 Thessalonians 5:15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Our ways should not be the ways of the world, but the ways of the Lord. Rather than crush a foe, we should try to win a foe. After all nothing is gained by defeating another, but we can gain a friend by winning (not defeating) them over.

My Advice – Don’t seek revenge. This is the way of the world. You are called to be different. Rather, be kind to those who would harm you.

Since Then

Colossians 3:1, 2 – Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things above, not on earthly things. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Notice the order. If we set our hearts on the things above, our minds will surely follow. However, it is not always the case that if we set our minds on the things above our hearts will follow.

My Advice – Whenever you find yourself setting your mind on worldly principles, check out your heart. Is it still longing for the things of God?

Finally, Whatever

Philippians 4:8Finally brothers, 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. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We are, to a great extent, what we think about. If we think about these things, they cannot help but improve our attitudes. But if we think about the opposite, it can only erode our attitude.

My Advice – Be careful about the things that you allow to occupy your thoughts. Whether good or bad, they will eventually affect you. Make sure they are good.