1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
by Christy Brown
If we are asked to rejoice always, pray continuously and give thanks for everything, then I can only conclude that God is always listening, always paying attention to us and always available to us.
I love that thought.
The problem is, I don’t always feel like rejoicing. I don’t always feel thankful in my circumstances. I know some people right now who are going through a tragic loss, and it doesn’t feel like a time to rejoice or give thanks. In my humanness, I feel like mourning. I feel anger. And I feel like justice should be served.
I mean aren’t we supposed to weep with those who weep?
It’s natural to feel frustration, anger, grief, and confusion. God doesn’t expect us to be unfeeling or oblivious to the heartaches of life. He allows us to love others deeply, so it is to be expected that we would also feel their loss deeply.
I can find another jewel in this passage, if I look at it from a different view. I see that in everything, there is something to be thankful for. When I’m burdened and mourning, I can find comfort in Him and He is readily available to provide it. When I can’t carry it on my own, He is only a breath away.
Christmas is a season of joy, but it’s also when we feel the loss of loved ones more deeply. At a time that is focused on family and gathering together the reminder of their absence is unmistakable, and the cherished memories are both beautiful and painful.
Today, I pray for the families that have experienced loss. Whether it is your first holiday season without your loved one, or your 20th. There is still an emptiness that will always be present. I pray for comfort and peace that passes understanding. I pray that you will experience joy in the moments with those who are still near and find beauty in this season even through your grief.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame kindle on you. Isaiah 32:1b,2
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. I Peter 5:7