Daily encouragement

Video by

Lily McGee

ACF Youth Culture Student Leader

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1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Behind the Scenes

What does God desire?

A mended relationship with us. This happens when we choose to follow his son, Jesus Christ. In closely following Jesus, we start to act like him who is the very “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) and the “radiance of God’s glory” (Hebrew 1:13). This is hard to believe when I still feel so human.

I make mistakes. I go my own way. I let the darkness overcome and confuse me.

Yet, no matter the messiness of our faith journeys, “we do not belong to the night or to the darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5). No matter how many times we run ahead or fall short, nothing “can separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38). Jesus is not a fair-weather friend. Through our ups and downs, he is faithful to heal our souls so that we, like him, radiate God’s glory. Because of this, we can experience his joy now.

Make it Real

This is not to say we will always feel happy. This side of Heaven, earthly things happen and earthly emotions ensue. But even in our seasons of unhappiness, joy in Jesus is possible. “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). That salvation - our God-relationship mended - is for eternity and for today.

Therefore, we can rejoice. We can pray. We can give thanks.

Feelings are as reliably unreliable as the changing weather. Joy, however, is a fruit of the Spirit, a byproduct of closely following Jesus. Its roots run deep through eternity. Jesus’ joy nourishes us with the strength needed to face our earthly days (Nehemiah 8:10), and our saved souls can’t help but radiate Jesus’ glory, just as God desires.

End in Prayer

Jesus, you are radiantly beautiful! Thank you for seeking me out, for saving me, for healing my soul so that I reflect your radiance. May your Light shine through my brokenness and into the darkness, just as your heart desires. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Written by

Kathleen Raygoza

ACF Devo Team