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1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 ‘Rejoice always…’ (v16)

The quest to know God’s will is high on the list of every committed believer in Jesus. It is, of course, a crucial part of our walk with Jesus, though sometimes God is asking us to use our common sense and get on with living!

But the sad thing is that some are agonising over what God’s will is and miss the verses that make it absolutely clear what we should be doing, and verses 16 to 18 of 1 Thessalonians 5 give us clear direction. But, to paraphrase American writer Mark Twain, it is not the verses that I don’t understand that I have a problem with, but the ones that I do!

So, in the next few days we’re going to explore the challenge of these verses and today the injunction to ‘Rejoice always’. Rejoicing can sound like the hardest thing in the world and seems to contradict other parts of Scripture which tell us to ‘mourn with those who mourn’ (Rom. 12:15b). Perhaps Paul’s words to the Philippians will make things clearer where he says that we are to rejoice in the Lord always (4:4).

Paul is referring to a deep-down abiding sense that all is ultimately well because our lives are in God and we trust Him. He is not saying that we should rejoice that certain things happen. After all, we are told to resist evil. But we are told to choose to be glad that whatever is happening to ourselves and others, ultimately we have a deep-down abiding joy in God.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Give me your perspective, Lord, on the events of life and help me to make a choice to rejoice always whatever happens. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Think of areas of your life which are hard and reflect on how much better things are because you know God and thank God for it.

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 122: Isa. 60:1–22; Matt. 11:11–30; 1 Pet. 1:3–9

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.