“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
“For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Now we’re talking. That’s clarity. No guessing what God’s will is. “This is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
So what is God’s will for you and me?
- Rejoice always
- Pray continually
- Give thanks in all circumstances
Before we look at the specifics, you should know that each of these verbs (rejoice, pray, give thanks) are all written as imperatives. These aren’t suggestions. These are commands.
The second thing you should know about each of these commands are that they are dependent on the clause, “in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus is the key to understanding why these are commands.
Why? Because, for the Christian, our joy is dependent on something that’s already done for us. Our joy is not dependent upon a future event. Our joy springs from something that’s already been done and completed on our behalf in Christ Jesus. We are commanded to rejoice because God has already done for us all that we could not do for ourselves. Jesus has already paid the debt of sin for those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior. Because of the cross of Jesus Christ, “he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
Rejoice always because in Christ we are sons and daughters of God.
Pray continually. Why? Because, for the Christian, we have direct access to the Creator of the universe through prayer. There is nothing that we face that our Father cannot handle and take care of. Whatever circumstances we face we have the ability to pray and involve the Father. So whatever it is you are going through today, through prayer, we never face our difficulties alone. Our God is always with us. Not only that, our Father has our back. We can face our present circumstances and future knowing that our Father has our back. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Give thanks in all circumstances. We give thanks in all circumstances knowing there is “nothing in the created universe that can separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:39). We give thanks “in all circumstances because we know that all things work together for the good for those who love Jesus” (Romans 8:28).
This is great news! In fact, this is God’s will for you.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).