3 Responsibilities Concerning the Will of God (I Thessalonians 5:15-18) – Part 1
I Thessalonians 5:16-18, Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Paul instructs all believers to do three things: Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks. All of God’s commandments in the Bible are beyond our ability to obey in the flesh, so we must rely on His indwelling Holy Spirit. If God leads you to do something, He will give you the strength, wisdom, and ability to fulfil it; you must trust Him. Keep in mind, what would be God’s will for someone else may not be God’s will for you. But, rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and giving thanks are always God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1. Our Praise - Rejoice evermore! (I Thessalonians 5:16)
A Christian's joy does not spring from their circumstances, but from the blessings that are theirs because they are in Christ.
“Rejoice always” does not mean to deny your feelings, put on a happy face, and never feel sad. So, what does Paul mean when he commands, “Rejoice always”? Remember, he wrote this to new believers who were suffering persecution because of their faith (I Thessalonians 3:3-4). So “rejoicing always” is a conscious attitude of contentment, hope, and happiness that comes from deliberately focusing on Christ and the eternal treasures that we have received freely from Him. Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” We are to rejoice in Jesus at all times. Rejoicing is better than complaining. It is also therapeutic for both the physical and the spiritual. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" (Proverbs 17:22).
God has graciously laid hold of your life; He has chosen you (I Thessalonians 1:4). The Gospel has come to you with power (I Thessalonians 1:5), transforming your life now and your future (I Thessalonians 1:9). You have endured great trials (I Thessalonians 3:2), and Satan has launched some fierce assaults against you (I Thessalonians 3:5). But through it all, God has caused you to stand firm (3:8). Your testimony is a means of God's blessing to others (3:9). Look back over your Christian life and see what God has done: God has been teaching you (I Thessalonians 4:9). He has placed you among other believers who can encourage and build you up (I Thessalonians 5:11). He has revealed to you the ultimate outcome of your life: to be with the Lord forever in the great company of His people, with ever increasing joy (I Thessalonians 4:17).
How can we develop a habit of rejoicing always?
1.SCRIPTURES: Every day focus on the riches that God has freely given you in Christ. For example, Ephesians 1:3-14 says that you have all spiritual blessings in Him. God chose you in Him before the foundation of the world.
2.SPIRIT: Walk in the Spirit, not the flesh. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). To walk in the Spirit means daily to yield to Him and to rely on Him to control your life in every situation. It takes time to produce fruit. It doesn’t pop out on a tree the day after you plant it! But if you walk consistently by the Spirit, eventually the fruit of joy will be yours.
3.SING: If you’re feeling down, sing songs of God’s goodness, grace, and of His love. The longest book in the Bible is a songbook.
Question to Consider:
What could be more wonderful and pleasant than constant joy, prayer and thanksgiving?
Point to Ponder:
Christian joy flows from realizing our position in Christ: who you are in Him, and what He has done for you.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I can rejoice today, not because of what I have done, but only because of what You have done for me. May I spend more time rejoicing and exalting You. In Jesus name, AMEN!
This is Part One of a Three Part Series. Please visit our site tomorrow for Part Two.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.