"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV
It seems simple. Doesn't it? But I do not live a life that reflects this. I often find myself crabby and consumed with my own life circumstances. I am too busy, too stressed and too focused on what I want from this life.
And, how many times have you heard that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength? Well, let me let you in on a secret. Paul isn't saying here that you can run a marathon if you have never trained for it. Let's read this verse in context:
God strengthens us to be content. His will for us is to be thankful and content. I know that isn't easy. I find myself watching HGTV (like, Flip or Flop is on in the background right now), wanting to do all of the remodels that seem to be so simple and feeling discontent with what God has already blessed us. I look through my Facebook or Instagram feed and wish I were vacationing in the islands with friends who are there.
Let's stop comparing our lives to everyone else. For the most part, I only post my highlights on social media. Even when I post the multiple "London broke her [insert name of bone here]...", I try to keep it upbeat. Social media isn't the place for me to hash out relationship problems or an argument that I had with my husband about some ridiculous miscommunication. We need to keep that in mind when we are scrolling through other people's feeds.
Here is what helps: journal the things for which you are thankful. Every morning, before I read my devotion for that day, I write down at least one thing that I'm thankful for. If I am feeling especially irritable, at the very least I can be thankful for the coffee that is helping me wake up...or the fact that I woke up in the first place...or the fact that I woke up in a home that provides shelter and with a family filled with love...or the fact that Jesus Christ pursued me until I turned to Him as my Savior. It turns out, I have plenty of reasons to give thanks!
For the past few years, I have done a social media 30 days of Gratitude. But the truth is, I could do that 365 days a year. God blesses me and our family daily. I guess I have figured out God's will for my life...remember that He is God, I am not, and for that I am thankful and because of that I can be content.