Rejoice, pray & give thanks… always

Believers constantly question, “What is God’s will for me?” Actually, I think all people, regardless of religious belief, spend considerable time wondering about their purpose & direction in life.

Scripture can be intimidating. There are verses filled with big words, confusing historical context, & meaning that reaches way above human understanding.

Then, there are the simple verses. Ones with direct commands & clarity. Verses that are not, in any way, open to interpretation or a source of confusion.
Those are my favorite.

These week I’ve been studying the few but powerfully strong words found in

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

What is God’s will you ask?

Here it is…a piece of it… Clearly spelled out for all to read. God’s will for you as His dearly loved child is to:

 1. Rejoice always
 2. Pray continually
 3. Give thanks in everything.

To be forever rejoicing, non stop in prayer, & habitually praising, now that is the way to please our King.

Let’s take this one step further & clarify so there is no confusion.

NOT- act joyful just when you are satisfied.

NOT- rejoice only when you are successful in the eyes of the world.

NOT- if times are tough you can take a break from seeking His joy.
Yet… Rejoice always.

NOT- pray when you need something.

NOT- pray when you want something.

NOT- pray when you have a problem.
Yet… Pray continually.

NOT- be thankful just when you feel happy.

NOT- be thankful just when you get your way.

NOT- be thankful when you are rich in the eyes of the world.
Yet… Give thanks in all circumstances. 

Because this is God’s will for you through Christ Jesus.

These commands are not optional. They are not up for debate or rewriting or individual interpretation. We do not need google or even footnotes to process what the Lord almighty is telling us here.

Friends, these two verses are absolute truth spelled out loud and clear.

Your bible needs to become your go-to answer for everything. The Holy Word is pure gold. It’s the key to unlocking & understanding the heart, wisdom, instruction, guidance, & plans of the Lord.

If you find yourself questioning without answer, “What is God’s will? How do I find it?”

I beg you to be honest with yourself. Then ask a new set of questions: “Am I doing the work of seeking in order to find? Am I talking AND listening in true relationship with Jesus?”

The will of the Lord surrounds us. If you seek it, you will find it. No, you probably won’t have clarity over every moment of your life even when you live in relationship with God. And God doesn’t always…if ever…speak to us directly. But His word, now that is direct communication from His heart. Clear, explicit instruction spoken to prophets & disciples then recorded so that ANYONE can discover pieces of God’s will at any time of the day.

Don’t be intimidated by scripture. It can be scary, overwhelming, & seem out of touch with your modern life. At the same time, scripture can be clear, literal & easy to understand. These words are timeless. Everything else in the world continues to change but the word of our Lord remains unmoved, unchanged, unending.

I propose a challenge for all readers. I propose that when we wake up each day we instill these 3 simple commands into our minds…

 1. Rejoice always

 2. Pray continually

 3. Give thanks in all circumstances

And CHOOSE to live them out with a joyful, prayerful, thankful heart. Because truly, when you put one of these commands into practice, the others happen naturally. When I rejoice in the blessings that surround me it leads to conversation with the Lord which leads to me giving thanks in all aspects of life! Check, check, check!

If we all dared to live out 1 Thessalonins 5:16-18 wouldn’t the world look a lot more like Heaven?

And let’s face it, when we make the world appear more & more like the kingdom, we all start to look more & more like Jesus.

And isn’t that what this Christian life is truly all about?

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