Honestly with Sheila Walsh

Dear Friends,

Recently, I was reading one of my favorite letters that Paul wrote. He wrote it to the Church in Thessalonica. In three very short verses he gives us a description of what God is looking for in those who love him:

“Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NCV)

I don’t find it possible to always be happy – there are simply too many terrible things that happen in this world. But joy is different. Joy is that deep-rooted confidence that no matter what seems to be true – God is still in control, watching over us in love so we can hold on to joy even in the midst of pain.


The encouragement to pray continually is a life-changing challenge. We read in Genesis that Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. They had no specific prayer time as all of life was prayer, open communion with God. When they rebelled against God’s command and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they suddenly saw what they looked like apart from perfect unbroken communion and they hid. God called to them in the garden “Where are you?” not because He didn’t know but He wanted them to show themselves.

He calls to each one of us still to come as we are, to see that all of life for a believer is prayer. It’s not something we do but it is who we are. When Christ paid for our sin at Calvary we read that the veil in the Temple was ripped from top to bottom so that we can come, once more with unveiled faces. Paul encourages us to give thanks, no matter what happens.

It has taken me a long time to come to a place of beginning to understand and apply this call. The ability to do this with a full heart is a gift of grace, based on our understanding of who God is.


There is nothing that can happen to you today or tomorrow that has not passed through the merciful hands of your Father who loves you and is committed to your well being. Even if someone intentionally hurts us, we can choose to give thanks that because of Christ, we are not victims of the whims of others, but we are those whose tears will be redeemed.

It’s my prayer for you today that you would know true joy, that you will walk and talk with your Father and no matter whether the road turns to the right or the left, you will be able to give thanks because He is right by your side.

With love,



Check back on Monday’s and Thursday’s for new posts from Sheila.

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