I was looking at the passage of Scripture in I Thessalonians 5, beginning with verse 16 and was struck for the first time, I think, about how practical these Bible verse “nuggets” are. Look at them with me for a moment:
v. 16 “Rejoice evermore”
v. 17 “Pray without ceasing”
v. 18 “In every thing give thanks…”
v. 19 “Quench not the Spirit”
v. 20 “Despise not prophesyings”
v. 21 “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good”
v. 22 “Abstain from all appearance of evil”
Whew! Paul left no stone unturned, as it were. Let’s take a look at the first of these nuggets and be encouraged by what a wonderful truth it reminds us of.
Yes, I know there are days when it seems as if the roof just caved in on us and nothing is going right (or more precisely, nothing is going right according to the way WE HAVE PLANNED FOR IT TO GO)! Yet Paul counsels us that even in the midst of all of this, we are to “rejoice evermore.” I don’t know about you, but I can say for myself that some days I do a lot more complaining and a lot less rejoicing. And I also know that when I focus on the rejoicing, the complaining seems to be less pronounced in my day. The Psalmist reminds us. “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psa. 118:24). And once more, “Rejoice in the Lord alway and again I say Rejoice (Phil. 4:4).
Take some time to read through some of the Psalms – so many of them focus on joy and rejoicing not only because of what the Lord has done, but because of who He is. We rejoice in our salvation, rejoice in victory over obstacles in our lives, rejoice that He is all-loving, all-powerful, sovereign and has stooped down to take us unto Himself and love us.
You get the point. The God who created the universe, sent His Son to die for us and give us salvation, and loves us with an everlasting love wants us to be rejoicing over every aspect of our lives – even the yucky stuff. And because He has done all of these things for us, we can do just that.
So, Sisters in Christ, I say to you today, “When the going gets tough, keep rejoicing.”
Written by Lynn Randall: Lynn is the Director of Human Resources at America’s KESWICK. She is active in her church and is a gifted planner and organizer. She has a real heart for people as evidenced by her care, concern and practical encouragement.