“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV
Anytime the Bible talks about God’s will, what God wants for your life, it is time to pay close attention. There are three things God wants you to do all the time, in all circumstances — rejoice, pray, and say thank you. While each of these actions is important on its own, together they provide the secret to a joy-filled life.
In the original language, 1 Thessalonians 5:16 is the shortest verse in all Scripture. The charge to “rejoice always” seems to need no explanation, except that many life situations don’t seem to be cause for rejoicing. However, while happiness ebbs and flows in relation to your situation, genuine joy remains constant regardless of what’s going on around you. Your feelings of joy may rise and fall, but your reasons for joy remain steady and strong. That’s because the joy the Bible speaks about is rooted in your relationship with God, not in your circumstance.
Rejoicing is putting that joy into action. You can express it through your attitude, actions, and communication with God and others. As you choose to rejoice, prayer and gratitude naturally follow. This cycle enables you to be thankful in every situation. That doesn’t mean you’re thankful for every situation. God doesn’t ask you to thank Him if you lose your job — or a loved one. Yet He provides reasons to be thankful even in the midst of tough times. Responding to those reasons deepens your joy, leading back to the never-ending circle of rejoicing, prayer, and thanks.
The Church family of St. John has much to be joyful about. You are God’s children, sharing His light in this world. Continue to share your joy with one another and all you meet for this is God’s will for you. Many blessings in the days ahead. See you in Church on Sunday!