I Thessalonians 5:16
1 Thessalonians 5:16 – Rejoice always
I like verses that are plain and simple. This is about as easy as it gets to understand. The ERV says,”Always be full of joy.” The Geneva Bible says, “Rejoice evermore.” And The Message says, “Be cheerful no matter what.” That’s easy to understand. What could be so difficult about that?
Understanding it is a whole lot easier than practicing it. It is hard to be happy in all circumstances. After all, happy has it’s root in the word happenings. We are happy when things are happening the way we want them too. We are happy when life is going well. We are happy when all everything lines up in a straight row and nothing is out of order.
But that is not life. This past week has been hard. My wife has had a virus. That made her sugar out of wack. Her glucose meter wasn’t giving accurate readings so we missed some of the signals and messed up. On top of that I did not felt well because of sinuses and allergies (Yea, Spring!). With family problems, financial pressures, and other things, I feel like there are times when I am barely keeping my head above water.
The dog ran off yesterday as we were getting ready to go to the doctor. We didn’t have time to mess with his foolishness. Every time we would get close to him he would run off. So we had to leave him out. We were concerned that he would get out in the street. But when we got home the neighbor helped us to get him. He was wet, dirty, thirsty, and happy. I was frustrated but glad to have him home.
Life can be trying at times. It can be frustrating. And it can be overwhelming. So how does one find happiness amidst the grinding of life?
Joy comes from within. It comes from understanding that God is in charge. It comes from trusting in his grace, his provision, his protection, and his providence. It comes from totally giving it over to him.
There are times we don’t feel like rejoicing. There are times when it is very difficult to hold on to joy. That is why we have to bring a sacrifice of praise to God. A sacrifice is offering something to God that cost us. Sometimes the sacrifice is to praise him even when we do not feel joyful.
Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Jonah prayed from the belly of the fish, “With shouts of grateful praise, I will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good” (Jonah 2:9). Jeremiah stated that we will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. Even though his wife told him to “curse God and die,” Job, even though he lost almost everything, talked about giving God praise.
The Hebrew word "Todah" expresses the idea sacrificial praise to God. Giving Him glory even when you are struggling and suffering.
The blessing is that when we honor God with rejoicing and praise in the midst of trouble he rewards us with a lasting peace and joy that flows from the heaven.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord Almighty, Thank you for the good days and thanks for the hard ones. The bad days help me appreciate the good ones. And I praise you for seeing me through everyday. You bless me beyond measure. You are my God and my King. Thank you for the saving grace that comes through your Son, Jesus Christ. It is in his name that I bring you praise, Amen and Amen.