Did you know that someone is praying for you simply by thanking God for you? We may never know who those people are. And that’s okay! Paul wanted his readers to know that they were appreciated. There is no greater honor than for someone to tell you, “Hey, I thank God for you!”
In turn, we are probably thanking God for those people in our lives who have made a difference in some way. Maybe it’s the Sunday school teacher you had as a kid, or the neighbor down the street who brought your lost dog back to you, or your very own children who bring you joy every day. The list is endless when you get started. How often do we actually take time to thank God for these people and say a prayer of protection for them?
We have probably all wondered a time or two during our lives (or maybe even on a daily basis) if we’re living in God’s will for us. Certainly, he has the greatest vision of all. He can see our whole life and knows our potential. Living inside us, giving us power beyond our comprehension, he has great plans for each of us. It’s only when we get in the way that his plans take a nose dive.
So how do we know what God’s will is for us? That is the best question of all time. It certainly should be one that we are asking on a regular basis. Today, Paul’s counsel to the Thessalonians gives them insight into what that can mean. It’s not the whole story, but we can be certain of this. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
We may read Jesus’ rant here and be a bit surprised. But, we shouldn’t be surprised at Jesus’ words but by the unrepentant sinners of whom he is speaking. We might ask, how do you experience healing, even just as a witness, and not be changed? Or, how do you go back to business as usual after seeing a miracle from God? God is awesome, we should stand amazed!
Do we take our own faith for granted? Do we need constant reminders to keep us focused on God? How long will God be patient with us? It may be hard to picture Jesus with anger in his voice, but he was human. He was surprised at the lack of faith that followed his work. He came to draw people to himself. You would think the people who had seen his great miracles would be especially drawn in and want to know him more.