Young or old, rich or poor, we all face difficulties in life. Everyone, no matter their status or station in life, experiences days when things don’t go according to plan. Everything we do turns out wrong; everything we say falls upon offended or angry ears, and the road to ruin seems to be paved with our own good intentions. On days like these, it seems we would be better off if we simply stayed in bed.
None of these difficulties compare with that which challenged the Thessalonian church. Poverty, oppression and persecution brought with them harsh circumstances. Yet, the apostle Paul compelled them, as he compels us, to encourage one another. He exhorts us to pray for one another, always giving thanks and rejoicing in Christ our Lord. We are to give thanks in all circumstances, for even in our greatest difficulty, God can use them for the purposes of good.
This is God’s will for you, that you would realize his presence each and every day, that you would give thanks for his mercy and grace, and that in the certainty of God’s love for you, you would encourage your neighbor in the same spirit of faith. From day to day, troubles will come. But God is with you. He cares for you and loves you. Rejoice! Be glad, for you do not bear your struggles alone.
Prayer: Compassionate God, keep me near, that I may feel the power of your love. Amen.