1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
The worst feeling that a person can ever have is that of being outside of the presence of God. I have been there so I know. It is synonymous with losing your joy and is accompanied with the feeling of being empty and unfulfilled. No one should want to feel like that. Therefore, do whatever it takes to never lose your joy. In encouraging us to do the same, 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says rejoice evermore. Rejoicing evermore is maintaining your joy by living in God’s presence. Psalms 16:11 says in thy presence is fullness of joy.
There are two habits that are stated by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 that if adopted will keep us from ever losing our joy. The first is to pray without ceasing. Prayer is conversation with God, when we see prayer from that perspective, it is easier to conceptualize the idea of praying without ceasing. We can practice constant conversation with God by turning our thoughts, desires, concerns into a conversation with God. Praying without ceasing is talking to God about everything and doing so keeps us in constant communion with Him and position us in His presence. Nevertheless, talking to God about everything throughout your days should never replace scheduling time(s) alone with God on a daily basis; Jesus frequently did that throughout the scriptures.
Giving God thanks and praise in all situations is the second spiritual habit that the scripture encourages to keep us from losing our joy. The opposite of giving God thanks and praise is to worry about our situations. That does nothing to entertain the presence of God. Psalms 22:3 says, He inhabits the praise of Israel. That is an indication that thanksgiving and praise is one way in which we keep God close.
It is God’s will that we never lose our joy. If you are at the point where you have already done so; it is time to reestablish staying close to God as your top priority.
Life Application: Maintain your joy by talking to God about everything and maintain an attitude of thanksgiving and praise regardless of the situation.
Prayer: Lord, many times I’ve lost my way and have drifted far from your presence. There is nothing worse than being outside of your presence. I pray that I will keep in constant communion with you and that my joy will increase in you daily. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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