I’ve read that verse 1,000 times, Lord.
But last night, it’s as if I really saw it for the very first time.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Your Will for us?
I have always seen the “sovereignty” part of this verse. Whatever happens to us does not catch You by surprise. On some level, for whatever reason, You have allowed it to happen. For Your good purposes… regardless of the agenda of the other person involved.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
I’m sure Your sovereignty is part of the meaning of this verse. But what if there is more?
Yesterday,You directed me to write about the health benefits of gratitude. You showed me that neuroscience is producing study after study linking the mindset and expression of gratitude to enzyme and hormone changes in the brain.
Changes that strengthen our immune system and reduce our blood pressure. Changes that reduce our stress, anxiety and feelings of isolation. Changes that increase our joy, pleasure and peace. Changes that enhance our desire and ability to bond with others.
What if these very changes are the treasure You are referring to here, Lord? Telling us it is Your Will that we experience all of these health benefits, even in the midst of times that are difficult. And that’s why You tell us to give thanks in “all” circumstances.
Not because You merely want to train us to see the Glass of Life as half-full. But because You have designed our body in such a way that it will actually produce those healthy physical and emotional responses when we fill our Life Glass with Gratitude!
Is that why You call Your Word “living and active,” Lord? (Hebrews 4:12) Because there is no end to the layers of meaning waiting there for us to discover?!