Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Do circumstances get the best of you? Is your response to God dictated by events in the world rather than his unfailing promises? Paul tells us to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. We call him unreasonable but he is being quite reasonable.
No matter how much our immediate circumstances may disappoint or cause hardship, we are able to rejoice. Our hope is not rooted in the things offered by this world but in the unfailing promises of our unchanging God.
If God were to let us down, we might be disappointed. If God were to fail us, we might be devastated. But God will never leave us, never forsake us, and never allow anything to happen to us unless he plans to use it for good. So we rejoice every day. We pray without ceasing. We give thanks no matter what is going on around us. We are not surprised when the world lets us down – did you really think the circumstances of this world would make you truly happy? Instead, we rejoice in the knowledge that our true joy is rooted in the One who promises unending joy.
So rejoice. Pray. Give thanks. After all, this is not just a suggestion. It is not good advice that Christians be people of joy. It is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you find your joy, your hope, your thanksgiving in him.