December 30, 2023
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22, New Living Translation
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God‘s will, for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold onto what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil."
It’s the season where it seems as though difficulties arise. And a prayer meeting I attended I heard someone say this:
For mental health, give things.
For emotional health, rejoice.
For heart health, turn your face/heart to God. Speak scripture over yourself.
I loved this, because it doesn’t just apply to the season, but every day of the year! In every aspect of our life.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 (NLT) says, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will, for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold onto what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.”
Paul reminds us in the scripture to be joyful, never stop praying, and to be thankful. He also tells us to test everything that is said. I need this as much as anyone. Sometimes we face a challenge, and maybe we stick a Band-Aid on it and ignore it, or maybe we just explode. Instead, let us acknowledge what is happening and seek God. Let’s give Him thanks for the good to come out of our circumstances. Let us thank Him for His help. Let us also test where those thoughts may be coming from. If it’s a negative thought that sends you into a spiral of sadness and depression, or anxiety and anger, it is not from the Lord. This needs to be addressed so it doesn’t continue to be something dwelt upon causing a festering and gaping wound. If something or someone has hurt you in the past, forgiveness needs to take place and perhaps repentance for believing the enemies lie. We are instructed, “Encourage each other and build each other up, just as you already are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT). That is the God we serve, the God who builds us up!
Philippians 4:4 (NLT) Says, “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again— rejoice!” I can see where this could be beneficial to our emotional health. If we allow it, our emotions will roll like a roller coaster, because of the chaos happening in our world. When you know the Lord, and understand His plan of salvation, for you, what He did for you, because He loves you, and trust that His plans, for you are good, you can rejoice! It’s easier to have joy and take delight in Him because you are in relationship with Him! We have something that not everyone has! The world doesn’t rock our world, because we have a firm foundation on Jesus Christ, the solid rock. And though we may get a little shaken at times, God is faithful to put us back on course. Paul tells us, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished, on the day when Christ returns.” (Philippians. 1:6, NLT)
We finally come to heart health. We all want perfect love. We find that in our Father, in our Savior, through His Holy Spirit, and through His Word. We find truth in our Bibles, the inspired Word of God, that itself was God breathed. There is power in speaking scripture over yourself. But you also have to believe it. When you do, something beautiful takes place in your heart. You find yourself safe, secure, and accepted in Christ! You are feeling love that’s deeper and truer than any other love. You find the anchor that secures your soul. “This Hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Malchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19, NLT)
Though life can be challenging, we can rest assure in the faithfulness of God. We are safe in His hands but must continue to seek Him in all things. Then we can live life and life to the full as He has promised.