One word makes a difference

wordWhile singing along with the radio is one of my favorite ways to travel alone, I also love to listen to sermons from such preachers as Andy Stanley, T.D. Jakes, & Kyle Idleman.  On the road to my daughter’s house Saturday afternoon, I listened to a couple of different podcasts.  I love the Word!  I love my God!  And I love being challenged to become more Christ-like!  (Can I pause and encourage Christians to download some of apps out there that bring the preached Word right to your ear!  I listen to sermons while I drive, when I walk, and even when folding laundry.  Though I love hearing my pastor on Sunday mornings, I want more… more of God…more of his teachings… more from God that just that hour on Sunday morning… Sermon podcasts are one way God is bringing me along and bringing me up in his truths!  If you want suggestions on good series or apps, I’ll be glad to share my fav’s)

Let me just offer a sample of how these men of God are being His instrument to help me understand his truths at a deeper level…

One word makes a big difference…

I’ve memorized it.  I’ve quoted it.  I’ve written blogs on it- especially around Thanksgiving time.  Yet this morning my understanding of the verse just went deeper because of one very small 2 letter word… IN.  Check it out-

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks IN all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Some things I go through do not bring me excitement… in fact, some of them have been accompanied by many tears and great heartbreak… Yet Paul says that I can still find joy & pray & be thankful while IN the circumstances even if it is not FOR the circumstances.  In this season of life I’m in now and with the path he has me on for a time, I’ve been learning this truth the hard way… I just didn’t connect it with these verses until now.

God, though I struggle with what is before me, I still have joy and I am thankful to you… even in this.  My joy & happiness are not determined by my circumstances but by the relationship I have with you.  I’m thankful for your sustaining strength!  I’m thankful for the refuge that I find in the shadow of your wings.  I’m thankful for the promises that you have made and that you keep!  I’m thankful to serve a faithful God!  I’m thankful for the joy I find in your Presence no matter the circumstances!  I’m thankful that your will & plan are so much better than mine

O, how my heart overflows with joy & praise & thankfulness today because I serve the One True God!

I pray these words and God’s truth will sustain you today and fill you with a joy that can’t be explained by what is going on around you.  Amen!

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