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GROWING IN CHRIST

"The Good and the Bad"

Date published: 11/05/2020

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

 

   The election is over now.  Pick your heart back up - this devotion is not about the election, but about living the Christian life in all circumstances.  Our country has been through a challenging time regardless of the outcome of the election.  People whose candidate won and those whose candidate lost should all have the same response – joy, prayerful, and thankful.

 

   The thief on the cross whom Jesus said would be with Him today in heaven did not say, “News flash!  I’m still here.”  No, his life on this earth did not change, but his eternal destination did!  At any time, life is capable of taking a Christian’s eyes off Jesus, giving the troubles of this world an opportunity to overtake his/her life.  Whether life is going incredibly good or incredibly bad, Jesus always has you in His hands

 

   Jesus’ answer is always the same: you have the assurance of eternity with God when you pass from this earth as well as the assurance of the Holy Spirit now as you live your life on earth.  You have the assurance of eternal joy in heaven with God, but right here, right now, you can be joyful as God uses you by living His life through you.

 

   Pray continually.  This is a common shortfall.  Instead of praying, we are rejoicing, celebrating, or fretting, worrying, and complaining.  Paul was experiencing troubles in 1 Timothy 2:8 when he wrote: “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.”  Do not let your emotions block God’s work in your life nor in the lives of those around you.

 

   Thank God for whatever outcome you just experienced.  God is in control.  Follow Paul’s admonition in 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14: “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”  Thankfulness keeps you at the center of God’s work and will.

 

   God can handle whatever life is dishing out.  You will be okay.  The same God who turned the world upside down by His work in Jesus is more than able to  redeem you regardless of the circumstances.  Jesus told His disciples in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  As a follower of Christ, you have believed He is the way; now you must live believe He is the life and His ways are truth.

 

   When life becomes overwhelming, deepen your relationship with God.  Be diligent in prayer.  Now for the fun part – trust God and be joyful - you are in God’s hands both now and for eternity.  Allow God to be God and enjoy His work in you!

 

2 Thessalonians 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

 

Do you know someone who needs this message on being joyful, thankful, and prayerful?  Click below to forward this devotion to them. 

 

Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area:  “Hard Times” and “God’s Purpose for You.”