My wife, Mary, just put a new package of sticky notes on my desk. It reminded me of when we first got married and I was selling books for the Southwestern Company to pay the bills at Houghton College. In that positive thinking world of sales, putting motivating slogans on your mirror or on the dash board of your vehicle was one of the tools to keep you going when you got up in the morning and faced the pressure of another day of door to door direct sales, or you had just knocked on your thirtieth door and they said no.
Well, here are some commands from the Apostle Paul to put down on some stickies, and they’re even better than those short motivational phrases used to keep sales people going.
“Always rejoice. Constantly, pray. In all situations, be thankful for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
The Apostle Paul’s closing “stickies” are all valid because they’re rooted in the Lord Jesus Christ. We can rejoice because Paul has told us in this letter that we can call God our tender father and not our judge because Jesus died for us. Like Paul, we can always be in intimate closeness with the Lord joining him in thankfulness. And Paul doesn’t tell us to thank the Lord for every situation, but “in” every situation. Some situations are dark, evil, and from our adversary, the devil, but even in these chaotic, unexplainable situations we can still thank the Lord because of his promises.
The Thessalonians faced persecutions from their own people in their day. Today, North Korea, is number one on Open Doors World Watch List for persecution against Christians and Vietnam is number twenty. As eyes are focused on Trump and Kim Jung On and their quest for peace, we need to be praying for safety for our brothers and sisters.
LORD, help me to be like Paul in frequently turning to prayer, especially for my brothers and sisters who are facing intense persecution for their faith.
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