The will of God…
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
The will of God is something we all long to know, something we all desire to walk in, yet something we often see as perplex and in some ways a mystery. While we may never know the full extent of God’s sovereign will, the Bible tells us how to live in the will of God and it really is quite simple.
To rejoice means to feel or show great joy or delight and we are commanded to do this, always. It’s easy to rejoice when everything is great and we absolutely should rejoice in those times. But it’s just as important, if not more, to rejoice in the not so good times…until your breakthrough comes.
Why, because even if everything around us is falling apart, we have an anchor that keeps the soul, a rock, a fortress, a living hope through an everlasting, never failing, all sufficient, Sovereign God. To the world, it’s craziness. How can we rejoice in such circumstances? The answer, Jesus. We have so much to rejoice about. We’ve been forgiven, set free, given eternal life, all through the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s word tells us this is the will of God in Christ Jesus and we are encouraged many times in the Bible to rejoice.
Secondly…pray without ceasing.
We all know the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. It was agreed that anyone who made a petition to any god or man for thirty days apart from Darius, would be cast into the den of lions. I love the fearlessness and boldness of Daniel. We read in Daniel 6 verse 10, “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously”. Daniel knew the consequences and yet he prayed without ceasing. Why? It was his custom.
Whenever we’re feeling anxious – pray. Philippians 4: 6 - 7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer is an exchange with God. We pray to surrender, honour and glorify Him, and in return He gives us His peace and guards our hearts and our minds.
Thirdly…give thanks in all circumstances.
In Luke chapter 17 we read of the 10 lepers who Jesus cleansed. The lepers cried out to Jesus to have mercy on them. When Jesus saw them He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priest” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Jesus answered “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well”.
Don’t miss the blessings we can receive when we give thanks, and in all circumstances. Let’s not forget what Jesus has done for us. Be like the one who came back to give thanks, and as we give thanks, God gives blessings.
Notice, these 3 instructions all have something in common. Always, without ceasing, and in all circumstances. This is a reminder to never stop, to never give up and to run the race that is in front of us.
Keep going on with God and if we rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances, we will renew our minds.
Romans 12: 1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18).