The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday Janurary 3rd, 2024 was written by LInda Coggin of British Columbia, Canada
12But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.
23May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-23 NRSV
I didn't intend to retire, but I lost my job at 64. Then we moved because my husband changed jobs. Shortly after our relocation, I was able to take two extended trips to be with a family memeber in crisis and later to welcome my new grandson. These would not have been possible had I started a new job. Buy I missed the sense of purpose and the structure that my profession had provided, and I wasn't sure how to fill my days. I realized that I could keep mourning what I had lost or chooose to actively nurture a new sense of purpose for my life.
We choose each day how to live out our discipleship. I do not believe there are days when nothing important happens. Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians of God's will for our lives: We are to rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances. But such simple directives are impossible to follow when we focus on what is wrong rather than what is right.
I now choose to begin and end my day in prayerful reflection, paying attention to the goodness of God that surrounds me. I review the day with gratitude - even the parts that were difficult - and deliberately name the joys. When I choose to rejoice, pray, and give oriented toward God's purpose.
Thought for the Day
My faith in God gives my life purpose.
O God, we pray that our words and actions will reflect gratitude for your presence and provision on this day In Jesus' name. Amen.