Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

Photo by Ronaldo de Oliveira / Unsplash

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, LSB

Paul is setting up the spiritual life of the Christian in these three things – rejoice, pray, and give thanks. These are not conditional, but a way we are to live. Some may think, “That is a nice thought, but look at my circumstances.” The reality is that these words weren’t written in times when the conditions of a Christian were grand. Being a Christian in the Early Church meant that they would risk everything in their lives. Our joy is not meant to be centered in the world but in Christ. When we think of what Christ did for us our hearts are called to rejoice and celebrate in the promise. We are also called to be a people of constant prayer, not only about our circumstances or health but, ultimately, we are to pray for the world and that all will come to know Christ. In all this, we can give thanks and see all God has done and is doing in our lives. When we are faithful in these things our circumstances may not always change, but our hearts will be. This is not God’s demand for us, but it is within His Will that we live in this hope so we may find peace regardless of our circumstances because we know He is always with us.

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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