Thursday, April 14, 2011

joy, prayer, and thankfulness

As I began my "Words to Live By" project, I came across 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Wow! So much packed in these three little verses. These are the simple truths that I pulled out and wrote down to share with my little man.

1 Thessalonians 5:16
"Be joyful always;"
-We don't always have to be happy but because of Jesus, we can always be joyful.

1 Thessalonians 5:17
"Pray continually;"
-Pray about everything. Jesus is always listening! Listen for Him to speak to you too.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
-Always be thankful for what you have! Even when things seem bad, you can always find something to be thankful for.

And then on Sunday, at the beginning of Sunday School, Jon Newsham shared a little bit about thankfulness and how important that was. We talked about how being thankful can completely change your outlook. Last week, he shared about joy and we talked about joy being an attitude. It is not dependent on our circumstances, it comes from the Lord.

[Are you catching the recurring theme yet? joy... thankfulness.... Just hang on, it's about to all come together.]

Then Janet began the Sunday School lesson. It was from Philippians 4. The lesson was great and there were so many valuable truths highlighted from the text but let me share something with you that jumped out at me:
Philippians 4:4-7
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Did you catch that? Joy/Rejoicing, prayer, and thankfulness. AGAIN. After we read these verses, I quickly flipped a few pages back in my journal and found where I wrote the 1 Thessalonians verses. I almost peed my pants. Well, not really, but the light bulb came on and I got so excited. There they are, all three grouped together, in two different places in scripture!! I'm sure if we did some searching, we could even find it more places in the Bible. I think the key is that they are all three together.

How do we find joy? Prayer and thanksgiving. Our situation might not seem "happy," but through the communication we have with God, we find joy. When we are thankful for the things we do have, the things we don't have fade in comparison.

How are we thankful? Prayer and joy. We are able to be thankful for things in all circumstances because we have the joy of the Lord! That is made possible through prayer and constant communication with him.

Why do we pray? Communication! Did you catch that up there? Communication is key in any relationship, and it is especially key in our relationship with our Father. Joy and thankfulness are made possible through this relationship.

These thoughts all just jumped out at me in the middle of the Sunday School lesson and I so wanted to share them with the class. This happens every now and then and I always get really anxious. My legs start shaking, I shift back and forth in my seat, just waiting for the moment where I can blurt out what just came to mind. [it's actually quite humorous. I don't think anyone notices except me and my husband, who gets a little embarrassed when I get too fidgety. ha!] There wasn't time for me to share it with the class this week, so it gets dumped on you, blog friends. Enjoy!

P.S. Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to be in Sunday School this week (Weston is taking me, and Leeland, and Oliver (?) on some surprise family trip to celebrate my birthday! What a great husband!), but Jon Newsham, I fully expect you to talk about prayer at the beginning of class. I think it just needs to happen. Jesus said so. (I promise, just read what He said.) :)


  1. I wish you would have shared this! That is so neat! I love when God's word just comes together like that. I am curious to see what Jon talks about on Sunday. I don't want to tell him just to see how God works. I will let you know if he brings up prayer. :)

    P.S. When God wants me to say something in Sunday school I do the same thing. My legs shake and I get really hot and fidgety and wait for the perfect moment to interrupt Ms. Janet. It's nice to know I am not alone.

    Have fun on your surprise vacation!

  2. Meagan, love this word! Love it when God speaks to our hearts and we have that realization of His truths! Such an awesome experience with the Lord that must be shared! But I have to challenge you and Jen when those moments come where you know you should speak.....SPEAK! That is the Holy Spirit talking and most of the time it is more than you that needs to hear His Words. It's also a matter of obedience to Him and that one truth you just realized will be an even greater experience with Him. Time is just time! If He is speaking to your heart and is urging you to speak then time will stand still! It's funny how that works! :) Thanks for sharing!!