Are you always joyful?

November 21, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV))

Think about this passage. Take it to heart and answer honestly and truthfully.

Are you always joyful? Do you pray continually? Do you give thanks in all circumstances?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, then are you truly within God’s will for your life?

Jesus came to offer us grace and mercy. He came so that we could be free from the laws of sin and death. If we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we should be ecstatic and overflowing with joy for we have escaped eternal death. Do we live our lives as if we truly embraced this fabulous gift? Are we truly thankful for what Jesus did for us so that we can share in God’s grace and mercy?

I would like to challenge each and every single one of us, including myself. I would like to see each of us truly reflect upon what we have to be thankful for and live our lives in fulfillment of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. The next time that someone cuts you off while you are driving, be joyful in your actions. Pray for the driver. Give thanks that no one was hurt. You never know what that person is dealing with. They may be rushing to the hospital to see a loved one who was in an accident. The next time you present an idea at work and someone else gets the credit, be joyful that the idea was accepted. Pray for the person who lied about the ownership of the idea. Give thanks that you have been able to contribute.

I could go on an on about situations that we all encounter on a daily basis, but I think that you get the picture. Life is a precious gift. Life is short. In fact, it is too short to allow things to come between you and God. For that matter, it is too short to allow things to come between you and anybody else.

Reflect upon your attitude this Thanksgiving. Come to God’s throne with a humble attitude of joy, prayer and thanks.

May your Thanksgiving truly be one where you give thanks for all of your blessings. May it extend to every day of your life.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Sing praises!

June 26, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
(Psalms 59:16-17 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of someone singing?

If you are like most people, you will probably think that the person who is singing is joyful and happy. Occasionally, you will find someone singing when they are depressed and sad, but you will not find them singing joyful songs. David sang praises no matter how he felt, for he knew that God was the same regardless of what may be happening in his life. God still provided a fortress and a place of refuge in both the good times and in the times of trouble.

I find it difficult to be like David and sing praises in the times of trouble. It is human nature to focus on the situation at hand and complain because we feel abandoned. If we would only stop to realize that God is still there, we could easily turn our attitudes around.

You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
(Psalms 30:11-12 (NIV))

No matter what situation we may find ourselves in, we must always sing praises to God. When we sing praises to God, it does not allow the enemy to gain an entrance into our lives. It does not allow the enemy to use our self-pity to turn us against God. When times are troubled, we must turn to God and rely fully on His grace and mercy. I don’t know about you, but thinking about God’s grace and mercy is always enough to get me singing – well, at least on the inside.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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