Daily Devotional

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Some people think the will of God is mysterious and enigmatic – hard to understand.  But this passage makes it crystal clear.  

While there are puzzling questions in life that require patience and wisdom to discern God’s will, for the most part God’s will is understandable because God has revealed it to us in his word. The word of God reveals the will of God!  

If you find yourself struggling to discern the will of God in a particular situation, try coming back to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  It’s kind of my “home base” when it comes to the will of God – my beginning and end point.  

If my circumstances seem cloudy and confusing, I ask myself: “Am I rejoicing?  Am I praying?  Am I giving thanks?”

If I do those three things – which God tells me to do – then I find that the will of God becomes much clearer.  

That doesn’t necessarily mean these three things will be easy. But the verbs are imperatives, and that tells me they are possible! It is possible for me to live and walk in the will of God today and know exactly what he wants me to do.

He wants me to rejoice always… which is a choice. I have to choose to be joyful.  

He wants me to pray without ceasing, which means abiding continually in spiritual conversation and fellowship with God. Unceasing prayer is a mental awareness of God’s presence and a conscious reliance upon him throughout the day.  

Finally, God wants me to give thanks in all circumstances. Not give thanks for all my circumstances, but give in all my circumstances. No matter how bleak my situation may be, I can always find something to be thankful for.  

As you meditate on this passage today, think of joyfulness, thankfulness and prayer as three legs of a stool. To sit securely in the will of God, you need all three to hold you up.  

So which leg of your stool is the shortest? If you feel out of balance, and you’re having a hard time figuring out the will of God, maybe that’s why.  
"New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation"
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