In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul declares concisely three dynamic characteristics that are smack in the center of God’s will, “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” These verses are brief and easily memorized. Paul did this so that we can carry them in our heart and be mindful of as we live out the moment-by-moments of life.
Rejoice always. This is not a rah-rah, outside-in, emotionally manufactured, energy of flesh thing. This is a faith-based thing that results from us keeping our eyes on Jesus and the glorious hope that we have as believers. Jesus demonstrated this in His own life. Look at Hebrews 12:2b, “For the joy set before him Jesus endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Was Jesus life peaches and cream all the time? Absolutely not! He had to endure the cross. He was ridiculed and scorned constantly. Yet, He focused on the joy set before Him sitting at the right hand of the father. Earlier in the above passage in Hebrews, he tells us to do the same thing as Jesus. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Why do we rejoice? We have the hope of eternal salvation set before us. So, fix your eyes on Jesus. Philippians 4:4 declares for us to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Pray continually. 1 John 1:7 states, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” This verse reflects the constant conversation between Jesus and a believer. We should walk in prayer. Ephesians 6:18 reflects this command to pray without ceasing, 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Give thanks in all circumstances. Jesus wants us to be thankful whether things are going great or things are going poorly. Romans 12:28 gives us the proper, faith-based perspective, “28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Be thankful in all circumstances.
Our walk in Jesus should constantly reflect three things: rejoicing always, praying without ceasing and a thankful heart. This is the will of God.