1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

Mist by the volcano.

Photo by Ýlona María Rybka / Unsplash

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, ESV

Sometimes, it can seem hard to rejoice. Circumstances are not always ideal for rejoicing and thanking God for the situations we find ourselves living within, yet that is what Paul calls us to do, not by his authority but in God’s. We have to think about the circumstances that Paul often found himself living within during his ministry. Imprisoned. Stoned. Being spirited out of places because there were those who wanted his life. Not necessarily times for great rejoicing. Prayer? Yes, but rejoicing? The purpose of our rejoicing is not meant to be based on our circumstances but because of the One to whom we belong. Our circumstances don’t define our joy. Our joy is to be found in our Lord and Savior. Him and Him alone. When the devil wants to shut us down and still our voices, we sing our Lord’s praises. The song we sing doesn’t need to be eloquent. It may not sound beautiful to those who are around us, but when we sing praises to God it is always a wonderful delight to His ears. Our prayers are meant to be unending, just as our breath comes to our lips and into our lungs to be exhaled out, so are our praises meant to be. Breathe in Christ’s love, breathe out prayers of praise.

Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.

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