In Everything

“In everything, Lord?” I prayed. “Really… everything is a lot right now.”

The Lord already knew all the things that made up my circumstances in that moment. He knew the health issues, financial pressures, family decisions, transition stress and ministry dynamics of my today.

Yet, I still felt like I needed to remind Him that my “everything” felt like way too much. It felt heavy and burdening and slightly on the unfair side.

Our everything was big at the beginning of 2021. Now, as we arrive at the Thanksgiving holiday, our everything is even bigger, more complicated and frankly, hard.

A few Sundays ago, our family was sitting in church, listening to a strong, female, South African pastor preach the simple truths found in I Thessalonians 5:16-18. She touched on rejoicing always, praying without ceasing and giving thanks. But her main point was that we must do these things in ALL circumstances.

This is God’s will for us.

Rejoicing, praying, giving thanks. Always, in everything, in all circumstances.

She said, “When we face something that we cannot change, tell God about it!”

So I did. I listed all kinds of things, naming them before the Lord, calling out the things that I can’t change. There are big situations that I can’t control, change, or fix. I need God to move in these circumstances. I need Him to work and do and provide.

The pastor’s challenge continued. She spoke the basic truth that in all of the circumstances I was naming in my head, I needed to rejoice, pray and give thanks.

I needed to find a way to do those three things in every circumstance.

Which led to the questioning prayer, “In everything, Lord?”

Those words are powerful.

They are a prayer that brings up other words and feelings and emotions.

In everything means truly in every single thing you face in this moment.

It means everything you have faced in the past or will face in the future.

In all of those things, we are called to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks.

We don’t get to hold things back in bitterness, ungratefulness, sadness, hurt, blame or pride. We can’t hide these things from our all-knowing God.

He is understanding in his greatness, faithful in his promises and good in his works towards us.

But, we so easily forget that truth in the midst of the challenges we face, especially in many overseas contexts.

How do we remember these things in every circumstance?

How do we rejoice, pray and give thanks in ALL things?

I thought I would ask all of you in my Instagram stories.

What words come to mind when you hear the phrase “in every circumstance?”

Your words and answers were precious so I thought I’d share a few. I’ve partnered your words with a scripture to encourage and uplift us all as we prayerfully ask, “In everything, Lord?”

In every circumstance…

1} I know God has not forgotten me.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

2} God is good.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” I Chronicles 16:34

3} Trust his heart.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

4} He is faithful.

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

5} Choose joy.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds… James 1:2

6} I am in Your hands.

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13

7} Breathe, God’s got this.

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

8} Jesus is already there.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

If you’d like to print this list, you can here.

Being able to list our things before the Lord, then rejoice, pray and give thanks takes a lot of patience and work on our part.

It means being diligent, focused and intentional about the way we handle or think about the situations we’re facing each day.

It means remembering these truths, these verses, these promises as we quietly pray, “In everything, Lord?”

We can truly say, “Yes, Lord, in everything I will rejoice, pray and give thanks because you are all of the things you say you are to me.”

Again, we know that he is understanding in his greatness, faithful in his promises and good in his works towards us.

Because of that, we can rejoice, pray and give thanks in everything.

What words, emotions and feelings come to mind as you pray, “In everything, Lord?”

What verse can you remind yourself of in the current “everything” of your day?

What words come to mind when you hear the phrase “in every circumstance?”

Will you share that with us?

Photo by Ryan Byrne on Unsplash

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