We all need more joy in our life, so our ladies’ Bible study group has chosen to study Philippians over the next month, the book of joy. I choose to be thankful today, and it’s not always an easy choice to make, but it’s the choice God’s Word encourages us to make.
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:3-6).
Whether those we come across bring us a blessing or a lesson, we need to stay in thankfulness for what God has and will do with us, and those who cross our paths. “First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made in behalf of all people” (1 Tim 2:1).
It’s not always easy to be thankful for all people, but it is God’s desire for us, and they are also His creation and He loves them all. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy”. I have to remember there have been plenty of times that I haven’t been very lovable, and yet I know that people have prayed for me.
Paul does not only pray with thanks, but also with joy (even while in prison chains). But we must remember that the Lord never allows anything into our lives that our dependence upon Him cannot handle: “Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2)
As we pray and read God’s Word and ask that He show us how to love those who seem unlovable, we need to remember that He hasn’t completed His work in them, just as He hasn’t in us, so we can be “confident…that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”. He’s going to finish what He started, “equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12).
Until you’re standing in the dark
And there’s a strength that’s growing
Inside your shattered heart
Even with your broken heart and your wounds and your scars
God’s not done with you
Even when you’re lost and it’s hard and you’re falling apart
God’s not done with you
It’s not over, it’s only begun
So don’t hide, don’t run
‘Cause God’s not done with you