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 342 messages in this series.
This is message #343 titled, Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks, Repeat, Part 8.
J.A. Broadus said, “We ought to be thankful for everything painful as well as pleasant. We can always be thankful that a thing is not worse. If it were worse it would be no more so than our sins make us deserve. When trouble comes over us, we learn to appreciate that as a blessing which is gone.”
In this series, we have talked about the importance of always rejoicing and always praying. Now, we turn our attention to the third command in this triplet — always giving thanks. The Bible reads, “In every thing give thanks.” The Greek word translated as “every thing” means all things individually and collectively. It encompasses: “each, every, any, the whole, everyone, all things, and some of all types.” There is no exception the Apostle makes to the command to give thanks in all things.
Regarding this passage, E.L. Hull said, “These words form the last of a series of seemingly impossible precepts — perpetual joy and perpetual prayer united in a life of perpetual thanksgiving. Of course these do not refer to acts, but to a state of heart. However, even then, the difficulty is not removed; toil and rest, success and failure, events that cheer or overshadow, are all to be received not only submissively but thankfully, and so are the tremendous sorrows which shatter the human heart. How can this precept be obeyed?
“The method of attaining these precepts is not to be reached by a single resolution, or in a day by an outburst of excited feeling. We may say sincerely, ‘Henceforth I resolve to trust God in everything.’ But little vexations soon shake our trust; greater troubles break down our resolution; the emotion has declined, and we say, ‘No man can be always thankful.’ Instead, it is the gradual result of a life of earnest fellowship with God — a life that daily realizes the presence of the Father; that by prayer feels the reality of God’s love — a life that comes at length to walk through all toils and temptations under a deep sense of the all-surrounding God.”
Because we are selfish, it is far easier to be unthankful. Ingratitude comes about when we focus only on ourselves because we are always seeing where something is needed in our lives. However, Paul delivers this command — “in every thing give thanks” — out of a life of suffering and lack. All of Paul’s prayers could have justifiably been about his own needs. Paul testified that he was “in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”
If we were to list all of the troubles that we are now facing or have faced recently, I doubt we could come up with a list half as long as Paul’s. Yet, out of his difficult experiences, Paul commends himself and us to a life of thankfulness in all things. As long as we live, we ought to be thankful.
I thank Thee, Lord, that in Thy blood,
My guilt is washed away;
I thank Thee that mine eyes behold
A bright and glorious day;
I thank Thee, Lord, for faith to see
A world of endless joy in Thee.
I thank Thee for a throne of grace
Where Thou dost bend Thine ear,
And I may breathe my soul’s request
When only Thou canst hear,
And hold communion sweet with Thee,
When but Thine eye beholdeth me.
I thank Thee for the hope of life
That looks beyond the tomb;
I thank Thee for the light that shines
To cheer me thro’ its gloom;
And Lord, for all Thy gifts to me,
My loudest praise I give to Thee.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
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.