Stress and Thanks

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks.  Thessalonians 5:16-18

It’s not a law of physics, but it is a law of common sense: No two objects can occupy the same space at the same time. (There are some exceptions in the realm of molecular matter, but let’s stick to everyday “stuff.”) That makes perfect sense to us and we have no reason to try to prove that idea wrong. We move one thing if we want to set another thing in its place.

Strangely, we are not as convinced when it comes to spiritual things. For example, we are willing to worry about a problem and proclaim our faith in God at the same time. We don’t have a spiritual law that invalidates our effort, but our experience says it’s contradictory to worry and to praise God simultaneously. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, the apostle Paul says there are three things we can do simultaneously since they support one another—rejoice, pray, and give thanks. The prayerful practice of joy and thanksgiving leaves no room for stress or worry.

At the first sign of stress, pray and give thanks to God for the joy that comes from trusting Him in all things. Not for all things, but in all things.

The measure of our spirituality is the amount of praise and thanksgiving in our prayer.  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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