TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
— PRAYER —
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 344 messages in this series.
This is message #345 titled, Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks, Repeat, Part 10.
Philip Schaff said, “Paul reminds his readers that it is God’s will that they should be thankful because he was impressed both with the supreme importance of the duty and with the prevalent neglect of it. ‘If we had to name any one thing which seems unaccountably to have fallen out of most men’s practical religion altogether, it would be the duty of thanksgiving. It would not be easy to exaggerate the common neglect of this duty. To most of us there is hardly a quarter of an hour in our lives more tedious, idle, aimless, and unsatisfactory, than what we call our thanksgiving.'”
Those words quoted by Philip Schaff are true for a lot of us. We spend far more time complaining about what has or hasn’t happened and what we think people are doing to us or against us than we do thanking God for the good that can be found in all circumstances. We spend more time praying for things we think we want than we do thanking God for providing for our needs. We might chalk these tendencies up to simply being human. We all know that if a product is bad or a service is unsatisfactory, there will be more people lined up to complain about it than there would be people lining up to say ‘thank you’ had that product been good or service exceptional. But it is not God’s will for us to live that way.
It is God’s will for us to give thanks in every thing. Note that the command is not to give thanks FOR every thing, but IN every thing. To give thanks FOR every thing might be impossible, but to give thanks IN every thing is always possible. One reason why is because no matter the circumstances we are in, we are always in Christ Jesus. We are one with Him. Wherever we go, He is there with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. If you are lying in a hospital bed dying of a terminal illness, Jesus is in that hospital bed with you. If your family situation is a mess, Jesus is in that messed-up family situation with you. If you find yourself attending a funeral, Jesus is at that funeral with you. In every circumstance, you can be thankful because you are always in Jesus and Jesus is always in you and with you.
Steven J. Cole said, “We don’t need to feel thankful before we give thanks. When God takes us through hard trials, we don’t feel thankful. But by faith we can say, ‘Lord, I trust that You are good and that You know what You’re doing in this difficult situation. I submit to Your sovereign hand and purpose, knowing that You will work it together for my good.’ Giving thanks in everything is often a choice to believe God in difficult circumstances. If you’re grumbling, you’re not trusting. If you’re not trusting, you’re not thankful. Develop a habit of trusting God, especially in trials, and you will thank Him both for His great salvation and for the opportunity to see Him work in your time of need.”
By rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks, we can walk in the will of God, grow in maturity as believers, and reap the benefits of joy, gratitude, and communion with God.
William D. Hyde wrote:
Creation’s Lord, we give Thee thanks
That this Thy world is incomplete;
That battle calls our marshaled ranks;
That work awaits our hands and feet.
That Thou hast not yet finished man;
That we are in the making still,
As friends who share the Maker’s plan
As sons who know the Father’s will.
Beyond the present sin and shame,
Wrong’s bitter, cruel, scorching blight,
We see the beckoning vision flame,
The blessed kingdom of the right.
What though the kingdom long delay,
And still with haughty foes must cope?
It gives us that for which to pray,
A field for toil and faith and hope.
Since what we choose is what we are,
And what we love we yet shall be,
The goal may ever shine afar—
The will to win it makes us free.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.