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 starts out in these verses by saying to always be joyful. Spiritually we should always rejoice in our hearts about whatever comes our way for we know God is there with us. Even though our lives may face pain and sorrow we can still rejoice in knowing God brings new mercies every day that help us deal with those painful moments. The way we find that joy is connecting to God and Christ through prayer. Prayer is the moments we give to God to build our relationship with Him. It is not that every moment should be dedicated in prayer but that prayer should not be hindered when it proper to do so. We should always be ready to pray whether it is to give praise, repent, or open up with our heartfelt desires. Whether in prosperity or adversity we should be thankful to God. We tend to immediately think things are for the worst when actually matters can always rise to much greater complaint. So be thankful God is with you to see you through the difficult moments in life.

Chris Downey, a 1984 graduate of NC State, was an architect in Oakland. In 2008 he noticed his vision was becoming blurred. A tumor had wrapped itself around the optic nerve and he needed surgery right away. When he woke up from surgery everything was blurry and five days later everything went black; Chris was blind. Chris could no longer read architectural plans. Chris scheduled a talk with the owner, to figure out how he could be more useful. He was at a workstation, up on a loft, when the owner came to see him. He could tell by the footsteps that it wasn�t going to be the kind of conversation he had been planning to have. San Francisco was full of laid-off architects. Chris could be pretty sure he was the only blind one.

Being blind turned out to be an interesting credential. SmithGroup and another firm, the Design Partnership, hired him as a consultant. Chris had found a blind computer engineer who had developed a tactile printer. He was able to see the plans laid in front of him by touch. Chris found himself designing buildings to accommodate the blind. Now he has an expertise that separates him from every other architect in the Bay Area.

Chris may have thought life was over as he knew it. But Chris overcame his problem and continued to live a prosperous life. At an architectural convention he was told to write �Why do you do what you do?� He then held up a piece of paper with the words, �I have been doing architecture so long I could do it with my eyes closed. REALLY, Chris Downey� Praise God that through his impairment Chris is able to give hope to others.

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. For even in our desperate times we continue to do what we do because God wants us to give hope to others.