Archive for November 2016

Exhortation to Joy, Prayer and Thanksgiving

November 5, 2016

1 Thessalonians 5:

16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(MEV – Bible Gateway )

In this exhortation to the Church the Apostle Paul utters words that are so simple, so ordinary – yet so profound. He is imparting to the believers what he views as top priorities for a Christian. They are placed next to each other because they all correspond. God wants us to be joyful, prayerful and thankful.

  1. Rejoicing – The primary source of Christian joy is in His saving grace. Jesus Christ saved us. The joy that it brings to a human being that understands he or she was destined to eternal separation from God goes beyond human measure. First of all, we are thankful for what He did. Moreover, we are thankful because we know intimacy with God once we are saved. To feel the peace, the joy, the Holy Spirit living on the inside of our human spirit – causes tremendous joy to bubble up no matter what the situation may be. There is a joy beyond all human joy. There is a pleasure beyond all human pleasure – it is knowing God loves you and desires you for a companion and a co- labourer. This relationship releases joy. Praising God and thanking Him and worshipping and desiring to be in God’s presence are all aspects of this joy. Deeper than all human expression is the soul that recognizes redemption and the Redeemer.
  2. Pray without ceasing – God is with you. He never leaves you. Once you have become a Christian, the Holy Spirit is on the inside of you. You never are alone. He is a constant companion, teacher, leader. The Holy spirit can warn us of things, can correct us, can lead us and direct us. I like to call the Holy Spirit my Senior Partner. I read an excellent book by Yonggi Cho from Korea on the Holy Spirit – the title of that book was “The Holy Spirit my Senior Partner. The best possible teacher for any of us is the Holy Spirit. The best advisor, the best planner, the best encourager or life coach is the Holy Spirit. He knows how to teach you so that you learn and it impacts your life. The Holy Spirit never forces; The Holy Spirit is a loving, compassionate, most intimate friend. I so Thank God for His constant company. It also releases joy in a Christian – knowing the Holy Spirit is always with you. It also makes you prone to pray and talk to God because you know He is right there with you.
  3. Being Thankful is probably one of the biggest life changing things someone can decide to do. Yes there are occasions to thank people for gifts or kind deeds, but I am talking about deciding to be thankful moment by moment. Thanking God for the home you live in, or the car you drive, or your family or your friends. The longer I live, the more I have to thank God about. Should you consider 2/3 of the world lives below the poverty level, and there are thousands of people who don’t have clean drinking water or a home – if we were to thank God for what we do have instead of complaining about what we don’t have – it would release joy inside of us. I would literally pray : God show me what you have given me and how I can use it for your glory. God show me how can I impact my generation so that Jesus shines in me and I can build up the Church and encourage others to want to know Jesus. Gratitude – expressing to God constantly though out your day will brighten your outlook on life. It will cause you to focus on what is positive and to enjoy your life. Thanking people for how they have helped you or impacted your life encourages them and sows seeds of joy into them.  May God encourage you to live this week in joy, in prayer and in thanksgiving.