As Jesus knelt in the garden to pray, His main concern was that the will of the Father was done when he said in Luke 22:42 “Father if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done.”
I heard a Christian man once say "You know you’re depressed when the only hope you have is that you ARE GOING TO DIE, and you start winning the battle!" Obviously things were so difficult in his life that his thoughts were only directed to his reunion with the Father. I had to take a close look at that thought and wonder if this was from God or was he being "duped" by the devil once again in his mind. Jesus, kneeling before the Father, already knowing His fate, pleads with the Father that the “Father’s will be done.”
The chronically ill experience so many difficult and despairing times that it is sometimes hard to tell where these thoughts sometimes come from. Then I was directed to First Thessalonians 5:16-18 which offer the simplest directive to the will of God for each of us, no matter what the circumstances are. The verse reads: "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
1. Rejoice always: whatever the circumstances, whatever the condition in life, God says to "Rejoice always".
2. Pray without ceasing: always live life in an attitude of pray, whether it is for yourself or someone God has placed on you heart, God says to "Pray without ceasing".
3. In everything give thanks: I can think of hundreds of situations in my own life that I am NOT thankful for and here God says "give thanks".
Here God has given us the simplest of recipes in life for His will. Rejoice, pray, give thanks. How difficult can that be? When I am lying in bed and cannot move from the pain, "Rejoice, pray, give thanks". Guess what? I tried that last night as I lay on my bed, unable to drift off to sleep and before I knew it, I was looking at my clock beside my bed and it was 6:17am and I had slept through the night.
I must give credit to a church and pastor I met last week in California for this verse application. His church is called "Set Free Church" and he is Pastor Willie Dalgity and he shared this impressive, yet simplistic approach to God’s will for our lives. "Rejoice always…not just some of the time (when things are going well); "pray without ceasing"…allow our minds to be in a constant attitude of prayer; "in everything give thanks"…Thank you Lord that I’m not in as bad shape as some of the people I know. And God’s promise is "for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." How simple can it get? Don’t know God’s will for your life? Try this simple 3 verse application and see if God doesn’t start to reveal, not only His love for you, but His will for your life as well.
And yes, if you live in the Calimesa area of California and you are not going to church somewhere, you really should check this one out.
Dave Stallings lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife of 36 years, Barbara, and their dog, Captain Jack…along with their kids and grand kids! Dave is a semi-retired pastor and loves to blog on his personal web page since being diagnosed with Stage IV incurable non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two years ago…his motto is “It is what it is and God is not surprised”….his website is http://www.nowwhataz.blogspot.com and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.