1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
All across the country and all over the world people are quarantined and taking precautions because of the Coronavirus. None of us have experienced days like this. One can only wonder, how long will this last? Where will it all end?
At the end of 1 Thessalonians Paul is giving some final exhortations to the Thessalonians believers. Paul does this in most of his epistles. Oftentimes these final exhortations are quick and to the point. Sometimes these sections are a called “buffet of exhortations.”
Verses 16 through 18 in 1 Thessalonians 5 fall within this section of simple exhortations. They are well known verses and often memorized. These verses include three simple exhortations for the believer: 1) Rejoice, 2) Pray, and 3) Give Thanks. There is also a modifier with each exhortation, encouraging the believer to do these actions constantly. These actions should be a normal characteristic for a Christian.
At Bethany Bible Chapel these verses are our theme for the year. In the insight of the elders they choose the verses thinking of the year ahead of us as a congregation. But, I think it is safe to say, God truly guided the elders in choosing these verses. It appears the Lord knew there was a greater reason we needed these exhortations. The Coronavirus has proven to be a truly unforeseen trial, where we would need to keep these verses on our minds more than ever. Our lives have been turned upside-down. May these actions for the believer be constant and unchanging during the upcoming days: Rejoicing, Prayer, and Thanksgiving. This is God’s will for us.
Tony Myers is a fiction author and speaker. He and his wife, Charity, live in Waterloo, IA with their four children. He has studied Theology, Philosophy, and Biblical languages at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Emmaus Bible College. For more information visit his website at www.tonymyers.net or follow him on Twitter: @tony1myers