1 Thessalonians 5:16 - How to Be Joyful and Rejoice Always.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 - How to Be Joyful and Rejoice Always.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV) Rejoice always,
1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NLT) Always be joyful.
This is a command. A Christian's joy does not spring from his
circumstances, but from the blessings that are his because he is in Christ.
[Bible Knowledge Commentary]
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]
Whether from possession of present good or anticipation of
future happiness, the Christian has abundant reason for rejoicing. With
forgiveness of his sins his conscience is free, and peace fills his soul. He
knows that "all things work together for good" [SDA 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
"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,
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]
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. [Praying Through
The Bible By Fuller re 1Th. 5:16-19]
God has given us His Spirit, who acts like a power generator
within us. Galatians tells us that we have access to love and joy
through God's Spirit in us. For the person who knows Jesus Christ as
Savior and Lord, there is always access to joy, and so Paul can write,
"Rejoice always." This rejoicing does not come from positive thinking,
neither is it a mindless act. It comes from the Holy Spirit indwelling
the believer. We need to make choosing that joy a habit. With joy
comes the ability to pray in such a manner as to give thanks in all
things. This may begin as a discipline. But as we grow in our walk
with the Lord, we understand that indeed we can give thanks, because
our God's economy is perfect, and not an experience in life is
wasted. Today you can begin a new habit of asking for, and experiencing
God's joy. It's already there for the asking! [In His Time; Walk With
In Him our joy will be full; and it is our fault if we have not
a continual feast. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
I am calling you to live in joyful dependence on Me. Many
people view dependence as a despicable condition, so they strive to be
as self-sufficient as possible. This is not My way for you! I
designed you to need Me continually - and to delight in that neediness.
When you live in harmony with your Creator's intentions for you, you
can maximize your potential and enjoy your life more.
The apostle Paul exhorted Christians to be joyful always and
to pray continually. There is always Joy to be found in My
Presence, and I have promised I will not leave you or forsake you. So you
can speak to Me at all times, knowing that I hear and I care.
Praying continually is a way of demonstrating your deliberate dependence
on Me - the One to whom you pray. Another powerful way of relying
on Me is studying My Word, asking Me to use it to transform you
through and through. These delightful disciplines help you live in
joyful dependence on Me. Delight yourself in Me more and more; this
increases your Joy and glorifies Me. (1Th. 5:16, 17; Deu. 31:8; Psa.
119:10-12; 37:4) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
If you have a problem that comes and goes over a long period
of time, you may start dreading its recurrence. This reaction only
makes matters worse. When the painful situation returns, you tend to
feel tense and defeated. You begin to judge each day that this
circumstance is present as a bad day. This is a hurtful, negative focus.
Let Me suggest a better way: When the problem is absent or
minimal, rejoice and thank Me continually - as often as you can remember.
If the problem is present, look to Me and affirm your trust in Me.
Ask My Spirit to help you persevere and keep your focus on Me. In
doing so, you connect a positive thing - trusting Me - with something
you previously considered quite negative.
If you do this consistently, you will find you are in a
win-win situation. More importantly, you will no longer be letting your
circumstances dictate the quality of your life. Rejoice and be glad-hearted
continually. Be unceasing in prayer - praying perseveringly. Thank Me in
everything - no matter what the circumstances may be. (Rom. 12:12; 1Th.
5:16-18; Psa. 143:8) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
If we face the sun the shadows will fall behind us but if we
turn our backs on the sun all the shadows will be in front. [Barclay
I can complain because rosebushes have thorns, or rejoice
because the thornbush has a rose; it's a choice. [source unknown]
Make rejoicing and prayer, habits of life, and you will be able
to give thanks in everything. [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
[March 21-26, 2016: Charlotte, NC in person with live streaming
and multiple outreach locations]
Revelation Today by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: