Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

by guest contributor, Joel Carlson

I grew up in San Diego, and as a young child, I was a fan of baseball and the San Diego Padres.  I was 13 when they reached the World Series; the whole city was focused on the team and that memorable season.  Left handed pitcher Dave Dravecky was easily the teams key player.  I always admired Dave because of his competitive spirit and his ability to be such a positive force in the locker room.  He was vocal about his faith in Christ, but more importantly, he demonstrated it with his actions.  A few years later Dave was diagnosed with cancer in his arm that took him away from the game, but his determination brought him back to the pitcher’s mound only a year later.  Sadly, during a game soon after his comeback, he broke his arm while pitching and he had to have his arm amputated. His playing career was over.  In reality, this is where his journey began.  Dave has dedicated his life to sharing the hope of Christ.  He never wallowed in his misfortunes but showed gratitude, thankfulness, and continually rejoices.

Today you will be faced with circumstances that are challenging, traumatic, even unfair.  Your character is going to be tested today.  The challenge to meet head on is how to handle situations when the easiest route would be to give up.  As Dave Dravecky did, look at “all circumstances” of your life and no matter what, rejoice, give thanks and continually pray.  If you proceed with that attitude, it will give you a new perspective, but also draw you ever so close to God; who will fill you with the peace that passes all understanding.  Today will be a good day!

Challenge:  Start a gratitude list!  Make a list or mental notes of all the things you are grateful for today.