1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
By Justin Carmona
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
Paul closes his letter to the Thessalonian church with final exhortations to live for Jesus. He begins with the call to rejoice and he ends with a reminder that Jesus is faithful. We are able to rejoice because we know that the one who calls us will do what he says. Because we believe that, we are able to do everything in between.
I know that during this time it can be hard to rejoice. There are people who are struggling with so much during this time. Family issues, financial burdens, work strains. It can be hard for us to keep that attitude of rejoicing going. Paul gives the secret to being able to rejoice always in this passage – to keep our eyes on the one who called us.
Our circumstances can bog us down. They can drain us and take our focus off of what is truly important. We will not rejoice but instead we will grumble. Our attitudes will not be thankful but ungrateful. We will not pray or trust the Spirit, but instead will try and accomplish everything on our own. All because we took our eyes off of the One who is with us in the midst of our circumstances.
So, this Advent season let us rejoice. Let us rejoice because Jesus has come to save our souls. He has come to bring peace. He has come so that we can have his Spirit. He has come so we can turn away from what is evil to what is good. He has come to give us life. He has done it, he will continue to do it. Because he is faithful. And because he is faithful, we can rejoice.
Father help us to keep our eyes on you so that we can live lives full of rejoicing.