What is God’s will for us? It very well could be the same as it was for the Thessalonians. Paul tells them that God wanted three distinct things for them. We often are asking what does God want from me and Paul is discussing what God wants for us. Well, what is it?
1 Thess. 5:16-18 list three important things on God’s mind for the Christians at the church in Thessalonica.
First: rejoice always! Christians were never meant to be sad and downcast. Living holy lives does not require a suppressed spirit or down turned lip. Christians aren’t criers they are laughers. We have more to be happy about than any other people in the world. Perhaps we have confused being sober with being sad. We are serious people who are happy. The whole world was created for us. All the beauty for us. Sunshine, rain; stars and moon all for us. White beaches and mountains covered with snow are for our enjoyment. We are victors in the race of life. Rejoice always.
Second: pray continually. See, we have a power the world lacks. We have a direct line to God who loves us and wants us to be happy. We are his children and he wants us to stay in touch. Many of us can’t put a cell phone down but can’t find a few minutes to talk to God. Something wrong with that. Muslims pray five times a day without fail. Nothing gets in their way and stops their praying. How many times a day do we pray and do we often postpone it? One of the keys of rejoicing is continuous prayer.
Third: give thanks in all circumstances. This is a different kind of prayer. In fact, it is more than prayer, it is a way of life. The world finds fault, the Christian finds God. This seems like a hard task. We immediately think that all circumstances are not things we want to give thanks for. Many of them are difficult and hard. Trials and troubles don’t seem like the kind of things we would say thank you about. But, we must remember that all things work towards the good of those who love God. Ultimately, everything finds it end in God. “I will never leave you or forsake you,” is a promise for the good times and the bad.
Abraham asked the question that promotes the answer to this dilemma when he said, “Will not the God of all the earth do right?” Do you believe this? If you do then you can give thanks and rejoice always.
We cannot be overcome by the world or the things of the world unless we make them our God. We are in Jesus and he has overcome the world.