November 4: Your Mission…Should You Choose To Accept It PART 3 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Today we are going to look at the 3rd Command: Thessalonians 5:16-18 “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 Give Thanks in All Circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”.
To Continually Give Thanks in All Circumstances…Revolves around the Command “in All Circumstances.”
If you only give thanks When you have money in the bank, When your marriage is good, When the deal goes through, When the doctor says, “You don’t have cancer,” When your kids are doing well, When church is growing and friends are Close.
If that’s the only time you give thanks, what will you do when trouble comes?
- What will you do when your company downsizes and you are out of a job?
- What will you do when your retirement fund loses 45% of its value?
- OR…When your marriage collapses, When your daughter gets pregnant out of wedlock, When the cancer returns, or When your friends betray you? In those hard moments we must turn to God whose Love for Us Does Not Change.
I fly a lot and on an overcast day filled with storm clouds…before we take off, you can’t see the sun. But once we get airborne and rise above the clouds we see that the sun was shining brightly all the time.
It’s the Same in Life>>>Sometimes the clouds of life seem to obscure the face of our Father, and we think he has abandoned us. But above the clouds of dark circumstance, the Sun of His Love is Always Shining Brightly.
Often things happen to us (and others) that make no sense Try as we might, we cannot trace God’s hand in every circumstance because God paints on a canvas much larger than our tiny vision.
So…How do we give thanks when our hearts are broken? How do we give thanks when we are confused? How do we give thanks when we are angry at what sin has done in the world?
- By Giving Thanks When We Don’t Feel Like It…Because…When we do we are Proclaiming that God’s Wisdom is Greater than Ours.
- The “Message” paraphrase of verse 18 says. “Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live”.
We will never be able to give thanks always without the Holy Spirit’s help. Left to ourselves, the pain of life will drive us to bitterness and even despair. But when we rest upon the His Sovereignty, only then do we have the grounds for saying “Thank you, Lord,” no matter what happens around us.
- I do not Suggest that this is Easy…Only that it is Absolutely Necessary!
- If you refuse to give thanks in every situation, you are virtually saying that you know better than God how to run the universe…But…By giving thanks when we don’t feel like it, we are Proclaiming that God’s Wisdom is Greater than Ours.
This Simple Act of Giving Thanks in the Midst of Sorrow is a Testimony Worth more than 10,000 words spoken when things are going well.
The final phrase of our text “This is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Answers the question…What is the will of God for your life?
- Remember, these Three Things will be more Clearly Seen in the Darkness than in the Light.
When times are Tough…IF you still Rejoice in God…IF you still Pray…IF you still Give Thanks…Then you’ve got the real thing and even those who don’t know Jesus will know that you know him.
The Christian life should be one never-ending state of praise and worship to God through rejoicing, praying, and thanksgiving.
Rejoicing, praying, and thanksgiving work together…They heighten the effect and value of each other. Prayer and thanksgiving lead to rejoicing, thanksgiving and rejoicing are types of prayers, and prayer and rejoicing illuminate thanksgiving.
The 3 feed off of each other and Cover the entirety of the Christian life. We Rejoice for present times, Pray for future protection & Give Thanks for past gifts.
This same command is given in Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
- No matter what happens in our lives we can remain hopeful and rejoice because we know that God is in control and working all things for our good.
- The will of God is not for you to be unsatisfied or without joy in your life but to be in a constant state of praise.
KEY>>>It is Not obtained by pursuing any earthly pleasures but in Pursuing God Himself! You are to Rejoice IN CHRIST always, Pray IN CHRIST always, and Give Thanks IN CHRIST always.
Praising God and being in a state of thanksgiving are pleasing to Him. He delights for us to praise His name and to thank Him for what He has done for us. He delights in this more than sacrifices and good works.
Remember: YOU Don’t Have the Power Alone to Accomplish these 3 Commands… Without Christ as Your Lord and Savior…They are MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!
If You Know Christ as Your Savior…I Encourage You to Empty Yourselves of anything that is Keeping you from following these 3 commands of the Gospel.
- And then Let Christ Fill Your Cup so that You Can Rejoice Always…Pray Continually and Give Thanks in All Things!
If YOU do NOT have a Relationship with Christ…If You have Never Confessed Your Sin and Received Gods FREE GIFT of Salvation through the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ then to YOU these Commands are Impossible!
- I encourage You to not wait another day but to receive Christ’s Salvation and His Power to Live Life to the Fullest Every day!