Be Joyful, and Pray Always

Oct 19, 2021 | Articles

We Can Only Look Up

In a world that feels like it’s turning every which way but up, it behooves us to fall on our knees before our Lord.  From there, the only way to look is up.  And when we look up, we see the glory of God as He blesses us in ways we frequently manage to overlook.

Have you ever noticed that when your life feels uncomfortably crummy, you run across someone whose life makes yours look blessed?  When that happens, it is your gift from God.  He knows when you are having your own personal pity party and in the most loving way, He is reminding you that your life is not all that bad.

I have a friend who is always cheerful.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him “down.”  He’s the kind of guy you want to have around because he makes you glad that you are alive.  We just naturally like being with people who make us feel good when they are with us.

But my friend has suffered one tragedy after another—loss of a loved one, financial disaster, serious illness, and excruciating pain, just to mention a few.  You name it; it’s been thrown at him.  But he keeps right on ticking.

If I didn’t know him so well, I’d wondered how my friend manages to keep his chin up.  But I know him and I know the “how.”  He puts his faith in Jesus Christ; he doesn’t try to handle difficult times by himself.

Be Joyful Always

The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

A few years back, my father-in-law was killed when his house was leveled by a natural-gas explosion.  When his pastor visited the ruins, he stood there looking at the devastation.  “This is terrible,” he offered the family in condolence.  But it was not a terrible thing that happened; it was a blessing.  My father-in-law was a fiercely independent man.  He had mowed the lawn that evening, enjoyed his supper, and lay down to sleep.  At 82, he woke up in heaven.  Doesn’t get any better than that!

My father-in-law and the good friend I was talking about earlier both knew the secret to being content in all things.


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