April 4: In all Circumstances…

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

I love recipes, but I am bad about following them.

I always want to add a creative dash of this or a surprising teaspoon of that.

It doesn’t always turn out well.

Paul gave the Thessalonians a recipe for a healthy mind, a mind that loves the Lord.

First, he told them to rejoice. Not just sometimes. He told them to rejoice always. Do you rejoice while paying bills? While struggling through the flu? While working?

Even more difficult would be to rejoice in a time of war, in the death of a loved one, or in terminal diagnosis.

However, God, in His Word, says its possible. He commands it.

Second, Paul told the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing. He knew they would need help to rejoice, to live Christian lives, to breathe. We need constant help like that too. When we pray, our minds acknowledge who God is and what He is able to do.

Third, Paul instructs them to give thanks in all circumstances. Don’t just rejoice, but actively give thanks. Corrie ten Boom learned this in concentration camp when her sister told her she should be thankful for the fleas. It turned out that the fleas kept the guards out and enabled the sisters to have Bible study with the women in their barracks. The Lord knows it is good for a minds to be thankful instead of complaining.

Finally, Paul exhorted them to not quench the Spirit. Listen to His voice! Don’t ignore it. It is the best guide your mind has to help you love the Lord Jesus.

Follow the recipe! It makes for a mind that loves the Lord.

1. Rejoice.

2. Pray

3. Give thanks.

4. Repeat

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