1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

The apostle Paul is writing to the Thessalonians. In these verses he is giving some final advice as he completes his letter. He tells them to always look for joy in their life; never stop praying; and be thankful for all circumstances.

In 2007 fires swept through southern California as far as from L.A. to the Mexican border. Five hundred thousand acres of land was destroyed. The blaze destroyed over 2000 homes as the fire raged across the state. Over 500,000 people were displaced from their homes as they awaited the outcome of what the fires might do to their properties. Although the fire destroyed the homes and belonging of many, worshipers in a Presbyterian Church in Rancho Bernado met to give thanks. They realized the important things were not lost, such as the lives of family and friends. As a husband and wife were salvaging what they could from their burned out home, the wife found a sundial her husband had given her as a present. The message on it said, “Grow old along with me. The best is yet to come.” The two of them had lost their possessions, but they still had each other. It was something they could be thankful for in the midst of a difficult time. Paul said we are to be joyful and give thanks in all circumstances because that is God’s will for us. Pray God will show you the joy in life and help you to give thanks even when you might not feel thankful.