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Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

We often struggle to understand what God’s will is for us, yet here it is, clear as day: God wants us to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in ALL circumstances. Did you hear that word all? Give thanks always, all the time. 

God doesn’t ask us to ignore the difficult times, people, and circumstances to live out this scripture. Instead, God’s will is to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. 

So what do we do when life’s not fair? There are two ways we can live our lives concerning this scripture. The first is to expect our lives to be simple and easy and life to go our way. If you’re living your life this way, you will set yourself up for a lot of disappointment, and it will be hard to live God’s will for your life, giving thanks in all circumstances. 

The second way you can live your life is to realize that we are nothing more than dust and to dust, we must return, it is much easier to look to God and see EVERYTHING as a gift. Life’s not fair, but what we deserve is death. With every heartbeat, we must recognize that our lives are a gift from God. 

So how do we get to the point where we can recognize everything as a gift? We already know the answer.

  1. Rejoice always. Celebrate what God is doing ALWAYS.
  2. Pray continually. It isn’t just praying a couple of times a day, it’s spending our whole lives in prayer. Don’t limit your time of intimacy with the Father. The Father is with us and want’s to be with us. But why pray continually if he already knows everything? Prayer can help us have a deeper understanding of ourselves. When we have a deeper understanding our ourselves, it deepens our relationship with God.  
  3. Give thanks in ALL circumstances. It doesn’t say to give thanks FOR all circumstances. I’m not thankful for all circumstances. Paul reminds us that we can give thanks IN them because the Father is IN them. We can live thanks in all circumstances because we don’t need to obtain favor. When we gave our lives over to Jesus, we put our trust IN Jesus. At that moment, Jesus and his life obtained everything that our life hadn’t. We obtained death. We can not obtain through any amount of work or effort what has already been given by grace.

When we are in the presence of God we will recognize all the things He is doing, and we will want to rejoice always. And when we are with Him, we can talk about everything. Pray continually. As we do, we will see that God is using absolutely everything, and we will be thankful. 

When you pay attention to the details you will see God everywhere. 

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