“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).
Each time I think of Bobby McFerrin’s popular song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” my body starts to move. The song featured a kind of Reggae beat, and was a happy song to listen to. The song made you feel like you were enjoying a carefree day at the beach.
I can’t guarantee you that each day of your life will be a carefree day. After all, we never know what life is going to throw at us. The twists and turns of life can take us through some dreadfully difficult circumstances.
But I can show you, from the Bible, some choices you can make that are guaranteed to bring constant streams of hope to your life. Maybe that’s what you need right now—a little bit of hope.
Perhaps you are dealing with job loss, an uncontrollable child, a serious illness, or a relationship breakup. You might be enduring a recent divorce or the loss of a family member. How can you build some hope into your life?
- Choose to be joyful. “Be joyful always” (v.16).
In this case, it’s choose to be joyful regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in. Why would the Bible ask us to do this? It’s because you can tackle most anything life brings you if you face it with a joyful attitude.
Remember, joy is the gift of Jesus. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). When you respond to life’s difficulties with the joy of Jesus you have more positive feelings about your circumstances. What you are dealing with might be hard, but you know God will help you get through it. That’s a cause for rejoicing!
- Choose to pray. “Pray continually” (v.17).
This verse speaks of developing the habit of prayer, which means you are quick to pray when life throws you a curve ball or takes you through a dark tunnel.
I remember when we had a rotary dial phone in our house. When you lifted the phone’s receiver out of its cradle you could hear the dial tone. Being in a spirit of constant prayer is the way we “keep our receiver off the hook” and stay in constant contact with God. He is our source of strength for facing life’s challenges.
- Choose to be thankful. “Give thanks in all circumstances” (v.18).
No matter what happens, even if it is extremely difficult, give thanks. This is not thanking God for the misfortune that came, but thanking God that while you are dealing with that misfortune, He is with you, helping you get through it.
Again, why would God ask us to be thankful in all circumstances, even the painful ones? The reason is because of a wonderful promise God has made to His people: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). When you stand on this Bible promise, knowing that God will take your circumstances and work them out for your good, you can be thankful.
Why should we make these 3 choices? After all, they are difficult choices. Our verses give us the reason: “For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”(v.18). Your decision to make these 3 choices aligns you with God’s plans and purposes for your life.
In my area of the country, our television stations air commercials from a popular men’s clothing store. The owner of the clothing chain looks into the camera and says, “You’re going to look good. I guarantee it.”
Do you need some hope today? Make these 3 choices and you will find a constant stream of hope. I guarantee it.