1 Thessalonians 5:16 - Always Be Joyful.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 - Always Be Joyful.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV) Be joyful always;

1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NLT) Always be joyful.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 (CWR) Always be joyful in Christ.


Joy in the Lord is the overtone of the whole epistle. The 
Philippians are bidden to rejoice with that joy which has its source in the 
Lord and which is had only in fellowship with Him. [SDA Bible 
Commentary re Phi. 3:1] 

"Rejoice, pray, and give thanks" sound like ordinary 
admonitions; but when you add the adverbs, you have a real challenge: 
"Rejoice evermore; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks." The 
Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps in constant communion with Him 
will see many reasons for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long. 
"Pray without ceasing" does not mean a constant mumbling of prayers. 
True prayer is the attitude of the heart, the desire of the heart. 
When our hearts desire what God desires, we are praying all day long 
as the Spirit intercedes for us and in us. [Wiersbe Expository 

   Be joyful, never stop praying, and be thankful - these three 
commands often go against our natural inclinations. But when we make a 
conscious decision to do what God says, we will begin to see people in a 
new perspective, and we will find it easier to be joyful, prayerful, 
and thankful.  
   Never stop praying means not giving up. It does not mean 
consciously praying at every moment. We cannot spend all our time on our 
knees, but it is possible to have a prayerful attitude at all times, 
being constantly in conversation with God and attentive to his 
Spirit's ongoing presence in our everyday lives. A prayerful attitude is 
not a substitute for regular times of prayer but should be an 
outgrowth of those focused times.  
   If you find yourself filled with worry, turn those thoughts 
into prayers. If you are excited or happy about something, turn that 
into a prayer of thanks to God. He desires to be close to your life - 
in sorrow and joy. Open yourself to his presence. [One Year NLT SB 
re vss. 16-18] 

Three imperatives which are to characterize the Christian's life 
at all times... Each begins with a different adverb or adverbial 
prepositional phrase emphasizing that the action is to be constant, and in 
each the command is expressed with a single verb in the present 
tense, indicating a continuing action. [College Press NIV Commentary] 

Books have been written on these simple directives out of the 
first letter Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church. [In His Time; Walk 
With Wisdom] 

This verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:16, not John 11:35, is the 
shortest verse in the Greek NT. [Ryrie SB] 


Real joy depends upon one's relation to God, which is permanent 
and unchanging. (UBS Translator Handbook Series) 

Christian joy is not dampened by affliction or other harsh 
circumstances, because it is rooted in one's unassailable relationship to God. 
In fact, joy may thrive in tribulation when a believer discerns the 
glorious purposes of God. Such joy is not self-generated but is the 
Spirit's fruit. [Wycliffe Bible Commentary] 

If you cannot rejoice in your circumstances, you can always 
rejoice in the Lord who controls your circumstances. Fix your attention 
on Him. He may not change your situation, but He will change you; 
and that is even better. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by 
Warren Wiersbe re Phil. 3:1] 

The Lord does not replace our sorrow with joy; He transforms our 
sorrow into joy. The same baby that gives the mother pain also gives 
her joy. The world's joy does not last, but the believer's joy is 
forever. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re John 

   Stripped, beaten, placed in stocks, and locked in an inner 
cell in a prison--Paul and Silas had every reason to moan about their 
unfortunate situation. Amazingly, they did not. Why? Because of the joy that 
Jesus had given them.  
   Joy is not the same as happiness. You will feel happy when 
everything is going well in life; but not so happy when the car needs 
repairs, the bank account is overdrawn, or the medical report is not 
good. You may not be happy, but you can still be joyful. Joy comes 
from deep within, from the knowledge that ultimately God is in 
control of all that occurs in your life and he will help you through it. 
   Jesus promised his followers: "I have told you these things 
so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will 
overflow!" When you are saved, you are given a well of joy deep within that 
can never run dry. Even more, that joy bubbles up like a fountain 
and overflows to everyone around you. Just as Paul and Silas's 
joyful response in prison impacted the other prisoners and the jailer, 
so you can impact others. [The One Year Bible for New Believers re 
Acts 16:25] 

   We rely on laws and rules to govern behavior, but everyone 
knows they can't govern the human heart. External forces can't command 
internal responses. Still, God works into His Word several unexpected 
instructions: to love Him with all our hearts, to have no anxiety, and to be 
joyful. How is this possible? How can an outward command be imposed on 
inward attitudes? How can an untamable heart be tamed by words?  
   It takes more than words, of course. In a command to "be 
joyful," self-discipline isn't the goal. It isn't an effective response 
or even a realistic one. We can't change our hearts simply by 
telling them to change. We can, however, realize that our attitudes are 
off-kilter and ask Him to supernaturally change them. He holds hearts in 
His hand; He can certainly sway them with His thoughts and fill them 
with His Spirit. If we are going to be people who are always joyful, 
this is how it has to be. We can't follow this instruction in the 
midst of trying circumstances unless we have a radical change of 
perspective and supernatural help. Biblical commands to rejoice - especially 
in suffering, persecution, and the intense trials of life - can 
only be fulfilled when we depend on Him.  
   Hear His heart: "I designed you for joy. I sent My Son to you 
so your joy might be full, abundant, overflowing. I didn't create 
you for joy only on pleasant days but for deep, abiding joy in any 
circumstance. Yes, this seems unrealistic to you. And yes, you can't simply 
flip a switch and rejoice. But you can focus on Me, change your 
perspective, and ask for My heart to fill you. I will gladly give you joy if 
you ask."  
   Father, I'm asking. I want joy - Your joy, the kind I was 
designed to have and that Jesus promised. Please let me experience it, 
even in my most trying circumstances. I want the joy that overcomes 
all obstacles and runs deeper than any pain. [The One Year 
Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen] 


   When spiritual directives such as Paul gives us here confront 
us--always be joyful, always be thankful no matter what happens - our 
natural response is, "That's impossible!" We tend to feel inadequate and 
unable to please God. How can we rejoice in tragedy, pray when we are 
otherwise occupied, or be thankful in times of adversity? The key is in 
Paul's next words: "Do not stifle the Holy Spirit." 
   The purpose of our existence is not simply to be "good" 
people. God has laid hold of and redeemed us for the purpose of forming 
us into his likeness as we walk through the experiences of this 
life with him. We are to become a dwelling place for his Spirit. Our 
challenge is learning to let him do the impossible through us! He is using 
everything in our lives to teach us that apart from him we can do nothing 
but through his Spirit we can do all things, even rejoice always, 
pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything. 
   LORD, help me to understand that you are truly causing all 
things to work together for my good this very day. I want to be 
obedient to what your Word asks of me. I cannot do this on my own. But in 
your Spirit's power, I can do what you tell me to do. May you be my 
joy, and enable me to be aware of your presence with me continually 
in Jesus. [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller re 1Th. 5:16-19] 

In Him our joy will be full; and it is our fault if we have not 
a continual feast. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)