1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - How to Find Lasting Happiness

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - How to Find Lasting Happiness

1 Thessalonians 15:16-18 - "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus"

Tags: 1 Thessalonians, memory verse, bible verse, bible quote, spiritual quote, rejoice, pray, thanksgiving, give thanks

Happiness is elusive for many of us.

Sure, we admit to moments of joy...

A new baby in the family...

A wedding...

A promotion at work...

Graduation from high school or college...

A new house or car...

But these moments never seem to last. And there is a very real threat to our lasting happiness surrounding us!

Even our accomplishments are rapidly trampled over by the next big goal or hopeful outcome.

Our joy is easily subdued by family or friends who are in a sour mood.

Negativity floods the world as fear drives television programming and social media content.

But the joy of the Lord is a promise from God that we can claim every day.

We only need to understand better what that looks like.

This memory verse from 1 Thessalonians is a great help for how to find lasting happiness. The verse has four important parts:
1. A commandment to rejoice always
2. A commandment to pray continually
3. A commandment to give thanks despite our circumstances
4. Acknowledgement that these aspects of life are God's will for us through His gift of Jesus Christ

These four components are foundational for achieving the more permanent state of happiness we continuously seek.

First, rejoice always!

We don't always feel like rejoicing.

Quite honestly, the demands and disappointments of life shift us easily to a more regular state of apathy sprinkled with only moments of rejoicing.

But this verse reminds us our balance should be shifted towards rejoicing ALWAYS.

How can we possibly do that?

We need a "BIG" perspective. We need God's perspective.

The old adage to "stop and smell the roses" applies here. In the hustle and distraction of daily life, we miss 99.9% of God's glory surrounding us. Should we actually take that time to pause and consider His marvelous works, would we not be filled with amazement? Would we not realize all we have to rejoice about from our abilities to our comfort to the earth and the sky? Or what about the beauty present in the people that surround us?

Second, pray continually!

Paul's guidance here is to literally pray without stopping.

So what are the benefits of talking to God constantly?

Just like in any relationship, as we think about God and talk to Him more often, we get to know Him better. As we get to know Him better, we start seeing the world as He sees it. We build compassion for His people. We build wonderment for His works. In short, we develop an eternal perspective that transcends the trivial matters that often drag us down.

Third, give thanks in all circumstances!

Ultimately, the ability to give thanks in all circumstances is key to lasting happiness.

But how can we honestly feel gratitude in the midst of deep struggle?

We accomplish this by connecting with the BIG picture again. When we deeply and truly know what we own in Christ, nothing of this world can have power over us. While it is real pain and disappointment and struggle... it is temporary. Christ has already defeated evil and invited us into a perfect eternity with Him.

Fourth, God desires us to have rejoicing, praying, and thanksgiving in our lives!

It is significant that Paul ties these three facets of life - rejoicing, praying, and thanksgiving - to the gift of Jesus.

Jesus is the very fuel for our rejoicing and thanksgiving. He is also our access directly to the God of the universe. It is through Jesus that intimacy between God and man has been restored. Thus, we now have the opportunity to speak (i.e., pray) directly with God.

Jesus is the hope of our eternal future reconnected with God in His perfect design... separate from the broken world we now experience.

Apply This:

1. Meditate on this memory verse just after you wake up each day for the next 7 days (or more)
2. Place your troubles aside and think about at least 3 things you have to rejoice about each day
3. Pray a prayer of thanksgiving to God for those 3 things
4. Say short prayers as you walk, ride, and/or drive around your town each day

Inspire your friends, too:

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