Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, November 11 - Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

So many of us look to God for His will, His direction, His guidance — which we should. Many young people start searching desperately for the answer to, “What is God’s will for my life?” We sometimes act as if the will of God is some deep, hidden treasure lost in the universe. We ask the questions, “Is it God’s will to attend this college? Is it God’s will to marry this individual? Is it God’s will to move? Take that job? Buy that car? Buy that home?” All good questions to ask before deciding.

I may not have all the answers to those questions, but what I do know is that God wants to reveal those answers to you. He does that by making Himself known to you. You can never know those answers until you really know who God is. God knows you and He wants you to know Him. Not know “of” Him, but really know Him and have a personal relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. The more we know God and the closer we get to Him, the more He begins to reveal His will for our lives.

God reveals Himself to us by providing us with His Word, the Bible. It is imperative for us to engage with it daily. We must read, mediate, reflect and apply His truths to our lives. When it comes to God’s will, He spells it out very clearly in these three verses from 1 Thessalonians 5:

Verse 16 — Rejoice always
Verse 17 — Pray continually
Verse 18 — Give thanks in all circumstances

Bang. There it is! No hidden mystery up in the galaxy. God reveals His will for our lives:

1. Rejoice, be happy, always!
2. Pray always! Continually talk to God!
3. Be grateful in all areas of our lives! Not just in the mountaintop experiences when everything is going well, but be thankful in the valleys. Thank God for the pain, the hurt, the scars. Your scars may point others to Christ.

What I love in these verses is that God not only tells us the “what” but the “when” too. “What should I do, God?” Rejoice! “What should I do, God?” Pray! “What should I do, God?” Give thanks!

He then gives us the “when” as well. “When should I rejoice, God?” Always! “When should I pray, God?” Continually! “When should I give thanks, God?” In all circumstances! Simple as 1, 2, 3. No need to complicate God’s will for our lives.

Now, granted, we do want the specific answers. We want God to reveal His specific will — where to go to school, where to live, where to work, who to marry, the list goes on and on. I am confident that God will reveal those areas of our lives to us too. But first we must rejoice. We must pray. We must give thanks.

Jim Good

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