April 28, 2023

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything, give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

1. REJOICE ALWAYS. The apostle Paul wrote this verse to people oppressed by Roman dominance when it was at an all-time evil. All its debauchery, idolatry, sensuality, and narcissistic self-centeredness were causing hurt and harm. People in this culture got so bored that they decided to throw Christians to lions and have gladiators fight to the death for sport. It was getting weird. And Paul, in this context, says to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks. Life has easy times and challenging times, and though we don’t relish the hard times, we can still rejoice during them.

2. PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. I’ve had to practice these truths as a discipline even when I didn’t feel like it. When life was bearing down on me, and I was depressed or would get some bad news – I had to be deliberate in those moments and fix my mind on the Lord. We don’t deny the existence of problems, but we acknowledge that God is greater and that He has the answer to those things.

3. IN EVERYTHING, GIVE THANKS. The cure for any upset is to be thankful. Instead of complaining, let praise and thanksgiving come out of your mouth. Remember what God has brought you through, and thank Him for it. Thank God that you exist. Living is a privilege, and being grateful for your life will help fend off suicidal thoughts. The Bible says, “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials” (James 1:2 AMP). Those hard times are an opportunity to invite God in on your problem as you grow, develop patience, and see God at work.

Press on!

re·joiceverb; Greek: chairó

To be “cheer”ful, i.e. calmly happy or well off.

I cast my cares on You, Lord, because You care for me. I’m trusting You. Please help me. Put a guard on my mouth so I don’t complain or sin. Help me to rejoice in You always, to pray constantly, and to thank You all day long for what You’ve done in my life and what You are working on right now. I love You – in Jesus’ Name, amen!

Copyright © 2023 St. Louis Family Church, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Strong, James. “Rejoice.” Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1978. Print.