God’s Will For Every Moment
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians5:16-18
Some of us are more emotional than others. We ride a roller coaster of highs and lows in our hopes and expectations. When we’re up, we’re on top of the world, but when we’re down, we’re a step away from being suicidal! Other people are more consistent and their emotional composition, but they miss out on the thrill of experiencing true joy. Whatever our personality and emotional make up, however, God‘s will for us- all of us is to focus our hearts so completely on him that we constantly and consistently rejoice, pray and thank Him. To experience true joy some of us need to avoid letting our emotions rule our lives, but others need to add a little spark to their emotions.
The moods of the most people around us each day are heavily influenced if not completely dictated by the circumstances of life. Christians though are different. The grace of God and His mercy, love, and strength can dominate our minds and hearts so completely that circumstances don’t dominate us. Even when life seems totally unfair, we focus on God’s kindness and forgiveness and we find genuine contentment. Instead of focusing on our problems and trying to fix them ourselves, we turn to God, casting all your cares on him (see 1 Peter 5:7), and we remember to pray for others who need God‘s help.
In every situation, good or bad, we give thanks not for the problems we face, but for God‘s presence with us in the midst of those problems and for the hope that God will use them somehow to accomplish good things.
God‘s will isn’t too complicated. First and foremost, it’s looking to Him and letting His character fill our minds and our hearts every moment of every day.
The Bible does say, “pray without ceasing but I don’t see where it says you have to stop working in order to pray. As a matter of fact, I believe that everyone who can walk and chew gum at the same time can work and pray at the same time.”
When we read this passage by Paul, we ask ourselves how it it possible to rejoice always. Didn’t Paul ever have a terrible day? Actually he had several according to his account in Corinthians. In prison, often hungry, shipwrecked, beaten with rods, and other sufferings was part of his life. So this isn’t written by someone who knew no pain. What Paul discovered and we can to was that his source of joy was Christ. In every situation Paul learned that Christ was with him, in him and for him. He even asks a question almost in wonder that it could be answered any other way.
Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Just as it is written and forever remains written, “ For Your sake we are put to death all day long; We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter .” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When we realize that nothing can ever separate us from the love of Christ, we learn to rejoice in every situation knowing that some day and in some way, Christ will make up for all we’ve suffered. Hear Paul again on the matter:
“For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us!”
In this we rejoice!
Then Paul says we are to “pray without ceasing.” That doesn’t mean that we stop everything we’re doing and pray for prayer is more than some formal exercise. Prayer returns us to the Garden and we, as Adam did, walk and talk with God. Our communication can continue while we’re working, driving, doing chores and enjoying our hobbies. I’ve had wonderful conversations with God in almost every environment I’ve been in. Perhaps what Paul is saying is that we share conversation with God at every opportunity throughout the day. It could begin like this: “Good morning, Father.” And it could end this way: Good night Father.”
Then Paul says that IN everything give thanks. Now he doesn’t say FOR but IN. We can find something in every situation to be thankful for. If we can find nothing else, we can always be thankful as Christians that this life and this world aren’t the end. We can be thankful for all God has promised us in eternity. But most of the time we can find much to be thankful for in this life. Gratitude is a great set of glasses to view life through. I say this often for I truly believe it; that I’m the most blessed person on this earth. Hope you feel that way too. God has truly been good to me!
Many people wander around seeking to find and know the will of God. Usually it’s about things like the right job, right house, right life mate and such. But Paul says to rejoice always, pray without ceasing and giving thanks in everything is what God wills for us. Perhaps if we practiced that will we would also come to know Gods will in the other matters as well.
Dr. John Thompson