How much proof do you need?

One of the most profound verses in scripture for me is one of the shortest. It’s found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Be joyful always;” Such a simple verse, three little words, yet so powerful and also a bit perplexing. Always? Does God really mean always, always? How can this be? How is this even possible? The next verse (which is even shorter) gives us the answer. “pray continually;” When I am in conversation with my creator, I am joyful. Spending time chatting with my Savior is time well spent and gives rest to my soul. This I know to be true. But what about life’s big struggles? How are we to be joyful when life is dark and difficult? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 clears that up, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Now I know that seems like more of a puzzle and less of an answer, but in reality it is the key to unlocking joy. Thanksgiving, having a grateful heart, appreciating others…all are scientifically proven to increase happiness!! Don’t you just love it when empirical studies confirm God’s Word?!?! O.K. maybe that is just the psychology geek in me, but I think it’s pretty cool when some research psychologist figures out what God has been saying all along. I am, even as I write this blog, surfing my university library’s database and seeing study after psychological study confirm that expressing thanks and showing gratitude is correlated with higher life satisfaction and happiness. How much proof do you need?

In order to be joyful always, we must also give thanks. We may have to look a little more closely during the dark times but there are always things to be thankful for. Today I am thankful for worship, the Word, and my incredible church family; Mexican food after Sunday service and air conditioning!! What are you thankful for?


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Judi
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 01:38:41

    I am thankful that my son “found” you on his site and that now I am able to be encouraged by you!


  2. Jenayu
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 02:22:39

    I am thankful that we have such a wonderful God who is ALWAYS here for us..through the good, the bad AND the ugly! I am thankful for my mom and brother; my friends; a bed to sleep in; food in my stomach; and my faith in the One who is my Heavenly Father 🙂
    Hoping you are well!


  3. K-czuk
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 03:01:27

    I’m thankful for everything that you mentioned except the air conditioning (I don’t mind the heat). I’m really very thankful for your blog, how you express your heart, faith, and your “ups” and “downs”. I look forward to reading whenever you post.


  4. Bev Wiens
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 23:44:49

    I’m thankful that you are part of our Psychology Department team! Blessings to you–especially this next week as you head into another round of chemo! Love, Bev


  5. lifeofministermom
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 03:38:41

    I am ALWAYS thankful for my relationship with the Lord and his never-ending grace and mercy! I’m also thankful for my healthy and happy 4-month old baby girl, the most loving husband who supports my writing and ministry endeavors, AND a full belly from a delicious meal at El Pollo Loco. ;0)


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