"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NLT
Always be joyful. How can that be? Isn't that just a little bit phony?
Am I suppose to be joyful when my life is falling apart? Am I suppose to be joyful when I am up to my ears in debt? Am I to be joyful when a bad things are happening to me or to someone I know? I just don't understand God--always be joyful. I'm hurt, mad, scared, lonely, I don't feel joyful. You just don't understand!
Do these thoughts ever run through your mind and spirit? They do mine. Yes, even though I teach this lesson, I'm human. It's hard to live it. Especially with my personality that wants to fix "it"--quickly--and then move on.
But you see, God never gives us a command and then let's us flounder on alone. If we take time to really read His word, the answer on "How" is there. The very next sentence. "Never stop praying." Never stop praying. But I don't feel like praying. NEVER stop praying. But I pray and nothing ever changes. NEVER stop praying. I don't know how or what to say. NEVER stop praying.
Sometimes you need to go through rough spots to become the person that God has designed you to be. If He didn't, you would have the tendency to become lazy and complacent. It's our nature. Remember Adam and Eve. They had a whole garden full of delicious food--just an arms reach away. But Eve got bored with the easy shopping. Satan enticed her with a challenge and she ate it up.
So, how are you going to handle your spirit's outlook on life's situation? Are you going to be all sullen-faced and complaining or are you going to "always be joyful" with the aid of a healthy, consistent prayer life? The choice is up to you.