1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NIV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I absolutely love how these verses are separated. Having space between each verse shows the importance of each one separately, yet shows the overall power they have together. Is that not how we should live each day? What a great reminder we should carry with us where ever we go!
What is interesting here is the fact that it says always. When the Lord is blessing us and life could not get any better, it is so easy to rejoice. But the verse does not say rejoice when the Lord is blessing us, it says to rejoice always. This means we have to rejoice when it does not feel like our circumstances are all that positive. How can we rejoice in such times? Our hope remains in the eternal, not the present. If we focus on our eternal reward, it makes anything we are going through a lot easier to take. God is good, His promises are good, that should lead us to rejoice. Spurgeon has a great quote...“Turn this book over and see if there be any precept that the Lord has given you in which he has said, ‘Groan in the Lord always, and again I say groan.’ You may groan if you like. You have Christian liberty for that; but, at the same time, do believe that you have larger liberty to rejoice, for so it is put before you.”
Once again we see the importance of continual prayer. Think about it, prayer should be bringing us to a closer relationship with the Lord. If we are praying once a month, how on earth are we going to build that relationship? If you went days at a time without speaking to a friend or spouse, what kind of relationship would that be? It is the same with the Lord. Continual prayer is the key to building a strong relationship with the Lord, one of complete dependence.
Much like the idea of rejoicing in the negative and positive circumstances of life, we should be thankful in both as well. James 1:2–4 reminds us… (2) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing… Going into a trial, during the trial, and after the trial, we should be joyful because the testing of our faith produces patience.
What a wonderful reminder for the day! If you tend to mumble and grumble your way through the day, think about these verses. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks always, it is the epitome of the truest of Christian walks.
Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,