1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 NIV
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
“What and If are two words as nonthreatening as words can be. But put them together side by side and they have the power to haunt you the rest of your life.” – Lisa Friedman
One thing I promise that this church will never hear me ask is- “What if…?” as an excuse.
I will ask logistical questions of course but never take it to the “What if” realm.
I will trust that if God puts it on your heart then God will also provide the provisions. I may challenge your resolve if it is a large project to ensure you understand the full scope. Instead, I pray that we will spend our time rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks to God in all our circumstances.
You see, in my experience, us as a church, and me as a leader, asking “What If” out of fear causes us to shrink away from God’s will in the form of potential excuses. While we might avoid potential failure in creating those excuses, we also avoid living into the fullness of what God is calling us to do and to be. Risks and all.
Our scripture reading today reminds us no matter the challenge, opportunity, or difficulty to rejoice always and pray continually.
That is very important and our scripture commands that we should always be mindful of. We have so much to be thankful for and should always be praying for each other, those in need in the world around us, etc.
Scripture continues that we should give thanks in all circumstances – the good, the bad, the uncertain. Today is a gift and is never promised.
Even our ability to serve our community as a church isn’t a guarantee but rather a blessing from God.
There have been many times in my life when I have found it definitely a challenge to rejoice always. You may be the same as you think back to your life.
Are there areas in your life where you feel God nudging you but you are responding not with prayer and rejoicing but “What ifs?”.
I invite you to remember Lisa Friedman’s famous quote above whenever you feel the desire to ask “what if…”!
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
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