Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Three words stick out to me as I read this: Always, Continually, and All. Together they drive a point home that is so incredibly challenging.
What do we do in our life always, continually, and in all circumstances? Breathe? .... That's it. That's literally all I can think of.
Breathing doesn't requires a lot of effort on our part. In fact, you probably never think about it. We also don't feel like breathing is a burden, like some onerous obligation put on us by God: he's such a taskmaster! No breathing is natural, normal, and effortless.
You see where I'm going with this?
What if, as followers of Jesus, we are not supposed to try really hard to rejoice, pray, and give thanks? What if as we walk more closely with Jesus, those become natural by-products of our relationship with him? It's almost like, the closer you get to Jesus, you can't help but rejoice, pray, and give thanks!
The more you and I see his glory, experience his love, know his Word, feel his presence, receive his forgiveness and walk in his Spirit— The more we do all these things...the rest just becomes like breathing.
For the person walking daily, step by step, with Jesus, things like joy, prayer, and gratitude become as natural as breathing.
I'm not there yet, for sure. But I do sense the days I'm more connected to him, these things come easier. What about you?
God, I want to know you more. I want my life to line up with you - step by step daily - so that I can naturally overflow in joy, prayer, and gratitude.