June 10, 2020

by Kevin and Veronica Perri

“Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances.
This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Life is Hard. Even without a pandemic going on or riots. It’s hard for everyone no matter what color, gender, or creed. We, as individuals, stress about our relationships, our jobs, our financial situations, our health. In 1 Peter 5:7, we are told to “cast all of our worries and cares to God because he cares for us”, but this can be a difficult task. We get caught up in trying to handle everything ourselves.

Like a child thinks that they know better than a parent, so do we sometimes believe that we can handle things on our own, create our own path, forge our own destiny. In most cases, we stray further and further from the path of faith and trust that God desires for us. We become lost, sometimes without even realizing it. Those fortunate enough to perceive that they are lost fight to find their way back.

It is times like these when I remember 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18. It is a simple verse with three basic requests. Three rules, that if abided by, have the power to be life changing. Not unlike casting all of our worries to God, they too are not always easy, and sometimes I think, because of their simplicity they are forgotten or dismissed.

Be Joyful Always
It is what every parent wants for their child. To always be joyful, always be happy. So of course, that is what God would want from all of us. Just like a child is with a parent, when He sees us happy then He is happy. There is always joy to find in any circumstance, sometimes it’s just harder to find than others. Find it and be Joyful.

Pray At All Times
Praying is a way we communicate with God. Parents always want to hear from their children. How they are doing. How they are feeling. What is going on in their lives. It is the same with God. He always wants us to have that
open line of communication with Him. He wants to always be present in our lives. Speaking with him on a constant bases is the best way to always keep God first and present. Doing that will always help keep you on the right path.

Be Thankful in All Circumstances
God wants us to be grateful for what we have. He wants us to be thankful for the time we have, the relationships we have. He does not want us to think of the things that we do not have. Just like a parent does not want their children to focus on what they do not have. It is what they have that is important. If you are always focusing on the things you do not have you are destined to be miserable and unsatisfied. When you can focus on being grateful for the things you have in your life, more great things will enter into your life and your gratitude will grow.

Throughout the Bible there are hints on how we should live our lives. Jesus told us that we should love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. Also, that we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Peter tells us to cast our worries and cares to God, because that is what he wants. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 is another one of these hints. Be Joyful Always, Pray At All Times, and Be Thankful In All Circumstances.
Dear Lord, thank you for your unwavering support, even when we are distant. Thank you for always being there for us, in the good times and especially the bad. Thank you for always caring and listening. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Most importantly Lord, thank you for your unconditional love. For without that, we would have nothing. We love you, Lord. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com