The Big Picture by Jason Ling

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Recently I’ve had a few things come up in my life that were not what I was expecting nor necessarily wanting. Some of these things had not even been a thought in my life. This ranges from some extended family relations issues, changes at work and even my son's health. I guess you could say I was taking these things for granted and expecting things to remain unchanged.

Now, my initial response was a prayer in the form of a question,”Why, God?” But, I think the better question would be, “What are you teaching me about your will, God?” I also have to remember that life is not all about me but rather the betterment of God’s Kingdom. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 is a reminder for me to give it to God and listen to what he may be saying to me.  I have to remember I can only see a very small part of  a very large masterpiece. Think of the painting, The Mona Lisa. If we only can see an eyelash, how difficult is it to imagine the masterpiece that is before us? Likewise in our own life, we only see what’s before us as God himself continues to paint this wonderful picture. We can never see the larger picture unless we trust God that it is there and step back to look, giving Him the glory.  

In this verse, we learn that God’s will for us involves three key actions: continuous joy, constant prayer and unending gratitude. By always finding reasons to be joyful, keeping an ongoing conversation with God and being thankful in every situation, we align ourselves with God’s will for us. This trio of joy, prayer and thankfulness is the way God wants us to live every day, showing our trust and love for Him.

So what is he saying to you? Can we bow to His will and trust Him? Are each of us willing to give thanks in all circumstances? This may seem like a tall order as we can only see a very small part of the picture that is God’s Kingdom. We can however, trust God and keep a grateful heart as he continues His work.

God, I pray today that you would give us a grateful heart in all circumstances, and allow each of us to recognize Your will in everything around us. Help us to find joy in the day to day things that happen to us all, knowing you have this under your care and control. Help us to be more like Jesus, patient, kind, caring, and thankful. Amen.