Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-21

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 (NIV)

As I was walking through my neighborhood, I noticed a neglected garden with lots of weeds and dry soil. Then I spotted a beautiful blue hyacinth. It reminded me of the saying, “Bloom where you are planted.” At times in my life that saying has encouraged me—times when I have found myself in a place or situation where I have not chosen to be. In such a time and place it’s easy for me to give in to self-pity and complaining. The better choice, however, is to choose to bloom and flourish.

For me, the verses from 1 Thessalonians quoted above provide a model for how we can thrive in difficult situations—be they related to work, finances, relationships, health or home. First, we can think about all we have in Jesus to be joyful about. Second, we can pray constantly, honestly telling God our feelings and asking for God’s help. After all, nothing lasting can be achieved on our own. Third, Paul says we are to be thankful for all the gifts God gives us each day. Joy returns when we praise God, who loves us wherever we are, no matter where we are planted.

Prayer—Loving God, thank you for your constant goodness. Be with us wherever we are today, and grant us joy and a thankful heart so that our lives honor you. Amen.

Thought for the day—I can find joy in any circumstance by giving praise to God.

—Ann Stewart, Australia