Recipe for Success

I love this verse from 1 Thessalonians! It more or less spells out the recipe for success, for those of us who are trying to do life God’s way:

Rejoice. This is a word that we here pretty regularly, especially when you travel in Christian circles. So I thought I would take a moment to look up the definition of the word, to make sure that we’re all on the same page about what it means. According to our friends over at Merriam-Webster, “rejoice” means

“to feel or show that you are very happy about something.”

Ooh. That’s convicting. Rejoice always? I can’t truthfully admit that I do this all the time.

Let’s move onto the next word: pray. The dictionary folks define “pray” in this way:

to speak to God especially in order to give thanks or to ask for something.”

Hmm. I think I do this pretty consistently, but I have to wonder – do I spend more time thanking God, or asking Him for stuff?

Let’s learn about the last keyword here: give (tricked you all, didn’t I? You thought I was going to pick “thanks,” didn’t you? 😉). I’m pretty sure that we all understand what gratitude is, but what does it actually mean to “give thanks”? Well, the dictionary defines “give” like this:

“to make a present of.”

Wow. Our gratitude should be a present to the Lord. I don’t know that I’ve ever really thought of it that way before.

So, the simple verse is chock full of a lot of truth. I know that I’ll never look at the words “rejoice,” “pray,” and “give” in quite the same way again. What about you?

Dear Lord, thank You for this important reminder from the book of 1 Thessalonians. Admittedly, while this passage is pretty straightforward, it isn’t always easy to carry out. Help me to be more intentional and thoughtful about how I interact with You, now and in the future. Remind me to be joyful always, prayerful consistently, and thankful – well, daily (no wonder You prompted me to start this blog!). In Your name I pray, Amen.

10 thoughts on “Recipe for Success

  1. Amazing how God works it all out the way He wants it(Him wanting you to start this blog;)) I love your breakdown of this verse :):) I’m not thankful in ALL things like I should be either. Sometimes, I jump into “me” mode before I remember, ohhhh that’s right God’s got this, what am I doing in the middle of this mess, making it messier 😉 Then I ask the Lord to forgive me, help me stop this trait, and get behind Him, and let Him do the perfect work He does. Praying for the day when I am thankful in all things, 100% of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, my friend! Our pastor preached on this very topic this weekend (he’s on a streak a mile wide, I tell you) – the idea of selfishness vs. humility, and wanting our needs to be addressed first vs. thinking of the needs of others first. Very convicting message, but a good one.

      I’m with you – it’s a continual mess up-confess-repent cycle, but thankfuily, God is gracious and isn’t keeping score for either one of us! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s one of my favorites, too! Simple, straightforward, and no room for ambiguity or misinterpretation. Not always easy to live out, but we cannot claim that we do not understand what the verse says and means, no? God bless you as well! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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