1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
We are alive in this world and this time in history to reveal what the Father looks like. This is our purpose. It should be evident in what we believe, how we think, how we act and how we speak. How we represent God, how we live as His ambassadors to the people around us, is revealed in our decisions and the choices we make every day.
Paul instructs us about God’s will for us in how we are to live, so that God the Father will be seen in us. We are to live as Jesus did. He is our model and we have to understand that if we are not in Christ, living like Him will be impossible. Once we’ve received Him as Lord and Saviour however, God’s will for us in Christ becomes clear.
1 – Rejoice ALWAYS
How can we do this? Because of our faith in Him. He is who He says He is and He has done what He has said He has done. We believe this to be true. John 16:33 Jesus tells us, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” No matter what happens, as a Jesus follower, we can choose joy.
2 – Pray CONTINUALLY
How can we do this? Because of His love. When our relationship with God is based on and in His love as our source, He becomes the object of our affection. He is our treasure, and Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When we are in love with Jesus, we cannot help but pray or be in continual conversation with Him. It is important to remember that we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). I urge you, let Him fill you with His love so that you can pour it out to those you meet in your everyday life.
3 – In EVERYTHING give thanks
How can we do this? Because of our hope in Him. Romans 8:28 tells us that “ …all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Life will be painful at times. We will not get everything we want in this world. Life is not fair, but our hope is not in a person, a circumstance, or this world. Our hope is in Christ alone, the God of all hope. This enables us to choose to say, I may not understand… I may not like…I am in pain… but I know that this world is not my home, I believe my God is good and He will use even this to shape me into His image so that I may fulfill my purpose, to be love, just like Him.