Women's Devo | August 2022


 “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” –1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
Have you ever played the game where you are given pictures that are zoomed in and then you are asked to identify what the object is? You make your guesses, but when you see the big picture, it was nothing close to what you thought. This game reminds me that perspective is important. I am a visual person. I like to see the big picture. I like to know what is going on and how it all ties together, so I am always trying to see things differently. But sometimes, that can prove to be difficult especially when we are focused in on the little things.
            Many times, we can so easily be overwhelmed with life in a particular moment. We wear so many hats as women—wife, mom, friend, caretaker, teacher, mentor, motivator, chef, referee, cheerleader, problem-solver. The list goes on and on and doesn’t include what we think we need for ourselves. We start wondering how we will ever get it all done. We get so busy with our day-to-day tasks and trying to accomplish what Paul teaches us in verses 12-15, or stuck in the thought of “God, how is this your plan for me?” that we miss the big picture of what God is wanting to do in us and through us.
            This is when we need to remember the next three things that Paul follows up with in verses 16-18. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.” Our ultimate goal is to follow God’s will for our lives. This seems so hard when we are focused on the right here and right now. But if we can change our perspective to focus on what God says in His Word, we will find ourselves rejoicing, praying, and being more thankful. It says in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. Isaiah 41:10 tells us not to be afraid or discouraged because God is our strength and support. God also reminds us in Isaiah 55:8 that, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”
            We can get so caught up in seeing our situation from our perspective that we forget that we have a God who is greater who can see the bigger picture. When we remember this, we will find ourselves rejoicing and being thankful even in the little things. It may mean saying, “Thank you God for toes to walk with,” (after your kids have stepped on them for the 15th time in 2 minutes) or “Praise the Lord I am able to ____”. We will also find ourselves being more consistent in our prayer lives because our perspective has shifted to God verses our circumstance.
            When life gets tough, sometimes we need help to change our perspective. We seek encouragement from many sources to remind us what God’s Word says—family, friends, blogs, social media, music and more, all of which effect our perspective. If you’re like me, you live in constant motion. I don’t have much quiet time to read, so music is my on-the-go go-to. I enjoy hearing and singing along with songs like Annie Wilson’s Sunday Sermons that says, “Gonna have my worries, well that’s part of life. But then I think of those stories ‘bout what my God can do,” and “No matter what the world throws at me, I know His word is true.” Whatever you surround yourself with, be sure that it is helping you keep your perspective on God instead of your current situation.
Remember Paul’s words to “rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances” even if it seems impossible at the time. I find that when I do, I hear God’s voice more clearly, I am less stressed, and I am able to handle life through God’s strength instead of my own.
Jenny Gleeson serves alongside her husband, Brad, as senior pastors of Attapulgus Church of God where they have served for the past 4 years. They have been in ministry for 15 years and have been married for 12 years. Jenny teaches Children’s Church and helps with media. In addition, she has been teaching for 11 years, currently teaching Kindergarten, and is a full-time student working towards a master’s degree in education. Brad and Jenny have four boys, Kyler and Keaton (9), Braden (5), and Jaxon (1). Jenny enjoys spending time with family and going to the beach.

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