Written by Larry M. Jaynes:
Learning God’s Word in byte-sized portions is the absolute best way to gain an understanding of the Scriptures, especially the sections within the Bible that are written to the believer of today. The Church Epistles are directly addressed to believers who live and grow daily in the grace of God’s divine Word. In I Thessalonians we have a series of Bible bytes that give to the believer tremendous understanding and spiritual light.
I Thessalonians 5:16 – Rejoice evermore.
This is the entire verse of Scripture: “Rejoice evermore.” So when are we to rejoice? Evermore. This means always, during good times as well as hard times. To rejoice is to have joy over and again, and the result of rejoicing is laughter, like Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Her laughter was the result of beginning to believe in a promise of God and the joy within her heart overflowed into laughter. As we learn God’s healing Word, rejoicing becomes a second nature response from simply knowing that God is so very well pleased with us. Some negatives may come our way today yet we are able to rejoice evermore because we know the result, we know that we are more than conquerors because we believe God, His Word, and we believe His promises of deliverance to us.
I Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
Again this is a Bible byte, yet it contains a world of truth with instruction, guidance, and encouragement. To “pray without ceasing” means never to give up on our prayers though at times it may appear that some of our prayers go unanswered. Still, when God’s Word promises us something and we pray with believing for it, it will absolutely come to us. I have one prayer that I have been faithful to for more than seventeen years, and I believe in my heart that the answer is still coming. Almost all of our prayers are answered right away, or in the due process of time as our need truly arises, and sometimes they do take time before we receive our answers; however, if we pray with believing and we do not give up, we will reap.
When we put our trust in the hands of God and pray without ceasing, even if we do not immediately see the results that we want, it does not mean that God does not care. Rather, we can use this as a challenge to help build our thankfulness and faithfulness to the words of life. When I first became a Christian believer I had hundreds of questions, and over the years I have received hundreds of answers to my questions, yet I still have questions, perhaps even more than at the start. Yet God continues answering me through His Word, or by hearing a teaching, or I see it in a book, or God inspires me with inspirations and revelations as life seems to go on without too much trouble.
This is the same with prayer, we can believe that God’s timetable is always perfect, and when we do receive the answers to our prayers they are usually greater than we could even imagine because God always goes beyond what we can ask or even think.
I Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Being thankful for everything that God gives to us is a result of our prayer life, this is the context that the giving of thanks is set in, for this is living in the will of God. “Concerning you” means that God’s will is always directed toward you in Christ Jesus. God will is to be continuously answering our prayers as we continue to be thankfully “rejoicing evermore” along our life’s path.