READ: 1 Thessalonians 5
THINK: “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
Today I want to do something a bit different and just throw out a series of questions that I think are worth asking ourselves. My challenge to you is to be intentional about thinking through them well:
1. What are some things in your life that you are rejoicing over right now?
2. What situations in your life right now make it difficult to “rejoice always” and tempt you to grumble and despair? What would it look like to make a conscious choice to rejoice over those things?
3. How do you feel when you read the words “pray continuously”? Nervous, confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, other?
4. If praying continuously is actually a possibility for us – and clearly the Bible indicates that it can be done – then what needs to change about your current concept of prayer – what it is and what it’s all about – in order for continuous prayer to be a reality in your life?
5. What things are easiest to give thanks for? What things are most difficult? What inhibits you from thanking God in all circumstances?
6. What beliefs do you have about God and about you and about the way that he should be relating to you that might need to change for you to “give thanks in all circumstances”?
7. Verse 18 tells us that “this is God’s will for you…” How does it change the way you read this passage and the way that you think about applying it to your life to understand that these are commands and not suggestions?
LIVE: Memorize these verses. There’s a lot of bang for your buck here. It’s only one sentence but it’s 3 verses. That really increases the sense of accomplishment – memorizing 3 verses rather than just one – without increasing the difficulty. 🙂 Memorize them and seek, over the next week, to live them out, even when it’s tough to do so, as an act of obedience to God’s will.
PRAY: Spend a few moments rejoicing – over things that are easy to rejoice for and things that are difficult. And thank God for all of the circumstances of your life. Thank him for not abandoning you to them, but for meeting you right where you are and promising to work things out for your good no matter what.