“Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18
The thing that you will notice about Paul’s writings is that they are practical. I appreciate being told WHAT to do, and I also appreciate being allowed to develop the HOW on my own. Is it enough to merely KNOW what God wants us to do, or must we implement WHAT we are told into our daily lives? I think we all KNOW the answer.
Now take a look at each of these phrases: “Rejoice evermore.” This is the WHAT of daily walking with Christ. You and I must decide HOW. I call our attention once more to the psalmists advice in Psalm 16.11: “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” IF you want a joy-filled life, you must live each day as though God is looking over your shoulder, because He Is! When I realize that I am in His presence, my attitude changes, my thought life changes, and my behavior changes. That pretty well takes care of everything.
“Pray without ceasing.” This is the WHAT of our daily walk with Christ. You and I must decide the HOW. The disciples of Christ asked Him about prayer. “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ ” There is quite a difference between talking ABOUT prayer and actually praying.
“In everything give thanks … ” Again, there are so many times when this verse is misunderstood. Look carefully at the words: “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It is God’s will for us to “give thanks” in every circumstance. There is a substantial difference between giving thanks FOR all things and giving thanks IN all things. Don’t miss it.
So here it is in a nutshell: (1) rejoice, (2) pray, and (3) give thanks. Ask yourself today, “How am I doing?” Just my thoughts …