1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NET)
16 Always rejoice, 17 constantly pray, 18 in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not extinguish the Spirit.
Paul continues to list several brief instructions as he ends his first letter to the Thessalonians.
Always rejoice –
• Meaning to make it a practice to continually rejoice in all situations. Even in the midst of suffering, the Christian has much to rejoice over due what Christ has obtained for him for eternity.
• James 1:2 (NET) My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials,
• How often should the Christian rejoice?
• What is the opposite of rejoicing?
• How does always rejoicing go against our corrupt human nature?
• What are some specific things we can rejoice over?
• Can you name someone who is a good example of always rejoicing?
constantly pray –
• Meaning to make it a practice to continually speak to God.
• Romans 12:12 (NET) 12 Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer.
• 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NET) 1 First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, 2 even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, 4 since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
• How often does our study’s phrase say to pray?
• When is the last time you prayed privately? Or with someone else?
• What are different types and categories of prayer?
• Do you keep a prayer list?
• Describe your current prayer practice?
in everything give thanks –
• Meaning to thank God for all things in all situations – even bad situations.
• Philippians 4:6 (NET) 6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God.
• Colossians 3:17 (NET) 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
• In this phrase, In what things should we give thanks?
• What is the opposite of thankfulness?
• How would you describe the reasons why a person is ungrateful?
• Can you ‘count’ / name some of your many blessings for which you are grateful?
• How does the teaching of sanctification and God’s sovereignty provide hope to the Christian to be thankful for even the bad things that come in life?
For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus –
• Three possible interpretations.
• Meaning this way of speaking (rejoicing, prayer, and gratitude) is what God wants in each of our lives as Christians. This is my preferred interpretation.
• Or, Paul means only giving thanks is God’s will for them.
• Or, Paul means everything mentioned from verse 11 is God’s will for them.
• Can you describe how different our lives would be on the inside if we just spoke in these three ways – always rejoicing, constantly praying, and in everything giving thanks?
• Can you describe how differently the outside world would see Christians if we spoke in these three ways?
Do not extinguish the Spirit –
• Meaning do not put out the influence of the Holy Spirit from our lives.
• Ephesians 4:30 (NET) 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
• How would you describe the Holy Spirit to someone who may ask?
• Why do you think Paul’s command includes the word ‘extinguish’ when speaking of the Spirit?
• If you wanted to extinguish a relationship with your best friend or spouse, how would you go about doing it? Isn’t it the same with our relationship with God?
Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.
Rejoice! Yes, there is always something to complain about. It’s in your corrupt human nature to complain and be depressed. But don’t follow your corrupt nature, always rejoice!! Look at all your blessings and acknowledge them to Me and to others. I have put so much good into your life – little blessings in many many details. Rejoice in all of this good. Rejoice about heaven and My work for you. I created you, brought you into the world, gave you a spiritual birth, saved you through My Son, given you an eternal inheritance. Rejoice. You will be with me forever! Show all your rejoicing that is within your heart by smiling and testifying to others of My blessings toward you.
Pray. There is so much to pray about and people to pray for. Talk to Me as your friend. Don’t let our friendship be extinguished by being so busy and ignoring My Spirit within.
Continue to give thanks in everything. I know you tasted how even suffering is for your sanctification, and you are beginning to trust in My sovereign plan. I know you are beginning to see things, good and bad, are ultimately for your good and maturity. Continue to be grateful for all things.