On a day to day basis, how often do you feel thankful? It's easy to be thankful in the good times, but what about the bleak moments in our lives. It's a bit harder then for sure, but in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that is exactly what we are commanded to do. There we find Paul's instructions on how the Thessalonians should treat one another, handle problems among themselves, deal with spiritual issues, and then, right in the midst of these things, Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you".
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.
IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS.
Those are such short, precise instructions, yet we have such a hard time with them when our circumstances aren't what we would prefer. It's difficult to rejoice in the death of a loved one. It's hard to pray through our pain and tears at times. There are times in life when we would rather do anything but be thankful. God knew these things would often by a challenge for us because of our humanity, so He made sure to breathe these words into Paul for future generations.
Rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks are all choices we must make in an act of obedience to God, but they are for our benefit. God intricately designed our bodies so that our mood directly affects our health, not vice versa. Many times our health is not something we can control, but we can always control our actions.
Rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks are all verbs, meaning they are something we can actively do. When things are hard, rejoice in the Savior. Thank Him for who He is to you, and pray for His strength to handle what we as mere mortals will never be able to carry alone.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 are easy verses to commit to memory, and one we all need a reminder of from time to time. In the days ahead, remember to thank God and rejoice in His goodness. You may be surprised at how much brighter your days will be.
Rejoicing with you,