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God's Will for You

God's Will for You

Words of Faith 4-5-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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1 Thessalonians 5

    [16] Be joyful always; [17] pray continually; [18] give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.


         These exhortations deal with attitudes and are addressed to believers as individuals concerning their personal lives before God. 

        The first is the shortest sentence in the Greek New Testament.  God wants His people to be joyful, and He gives them every reason to be.  But Paul knew human nature well enough to sense the need for a reminder to rejoice at all times.  

        Paul wrote from prison to the believers at Philippi, "Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Phil. 3:1, 4:4) 

        Joy is the first quality of the Fruit of the Spirit after love.  But joy is also a command. A Christian's joy does not spring from our circumstances, but from the blessings that are ours because we are in Christ. The Christian who remains in sadness and depression is really breaking a commandment. In some manner he mistrusts God.

       We are also commanded to pray continually.  Continual prayer is not prayer that is spoken without any interruption, but an attitude of prayer that continues whenever possible.  A fascinating part of the language is that the adverb for 'continually' was used in Greek to describe a hacking cough.  It is a vivid if even uncomfortable sort of image.  Our prayer life should be something that tickles within us, does not leave us alone, and cannot be left aside for any length of time. Wow. 

         Paul was calling for a continuous fellowship with God, as much as possible, in the midst of daily living, a concentration that is unbroken.

        The two previous commands dealt with one's time-- "always" and "continually".  The next one deals with circumstances. Christians are to give thanks to God in every circumstance of life. The fact that God works everything together for good for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28) is the basis for this exhortation. 

         This is not a command to give thanks ‘for' everything, but rather thanks ‘in' everything. Thanksgiving is a more significant focus with a bigger view than the current circumstances. 

         These three exhortations in verses 16-18 are not just good advice; they are God's will for every Christian. They are not the totality of God's will, but they are a clear and vital segment of it. God's will means joy, prayer, and thanksgiving for those who are in Christ Jesus.


          Lord God, give me a life of joy, prayer, and thanksgiving.  Give me joy for today, no matter the circumstance.  Give me a constant connection with You in every place and circumstance.  Cause me to always see Your hand of blessing in every situation.  Give me gratitude.  In Jesus' name.