In case you haven’t seen it, you should watch Pastor Tony dancing from last Friday! If you have seen it, you should still go back and watch it again. You can’t help but smile. We all need more of that in our life. Not just during this time of social distancing. Pastor Tony did not hold back. Some of you may have thought while watching it that Pastor Tony can dance and rejoice like that because he must have it easy right now. Or you thought, “I am in a really tough place right now, there’s now way I can be that happy.”
I would bet that being quarantined has created struggles or trials for everyone. A great challenge for you and your families is to remain joyful. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
People are happy on many occasions, but as Christians, we should be joyful at all times. We should rejoice always. Why? Because our forever hope is in Jesus and what he did on the cross. Our circumstances or our feelings shouldn’t change where our hope is found.
1. Rejoice always
2. Pray without ceasing
3. Give thanks in all circumstances
These are the perfect trio. Rejoicing in who the Lord is, turning our hearts toward the Lord through prayer, and then giving thanks to the Lord changes our perspective and hearts towards the things that are holy.
Philippians 4: 8 commands us to think on these things. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Thinking on these things allows our minds to focus on the good and not dwell on what we can’t control or change. It is hard to rejoice when we think about what is hard in our life. But it is never hard to rejoice when we focus our eyes on the Lord and remember who HE is.
Verse 18 in Thessalonians wraps up with, “for this is God’s will.” God wants us to Rejoice. He knows it is good medicine for our minds. He wants us to seek him continually, for big and small. He wants us to give thanks in all things.
ACTION STEPS with your kids: At a level that’s appropriate for your kid’s age, choose a characteristic of God and talk about it. Look up stories in the Bible in which we see that characteristic. A great resource, one that Pastor Nathan recently recommended, is I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God. Pray and rejoice as a family in who the Lord is, with everyone taking a turn, thanking the Lord for that specific characteristic. Also, pray and ask the Lord to help your family to use this time well, for our joy and his glory.