In I Thessalonians 5:16-22 Paul broke down how we can not only ‘just get through’ times like these, but, while in times like these, we can be that candle Jesus told us about in Matthew 5:15-16, “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Paul said, Rejoice evermore!
We have a lot of reasons to be rejoicing; look around, if you have to, S E A R C H for things, even little things, to rejoice over, there is ALWAYS something to rejoice over!
: Christ – if you are a Christian REJOICE! You are saved! You have been forgiven, you have been redeemed, sanctified and washed in the blood of the Lamb of God!
: USA – if you live, in my opinion, the greatest country in the world, the USA, REJOICE! You could be living in a country where clean water cannot be found – you could be living where you cannot freely worship our Lord or freely go to church, or … own a Bible without risking your life. If you don’t live in the USA, REJOICE! You have it better than a lot of people in the world. Why? Because you have internet access, [or you wouldn’t be reading this], internet access is a luxury, not a necessity, and a lot of folks don’t have it! Regardless of where you live, or even your current situation, there is always something to rejoice about.
Paul said, Pray without ceasing!
That one is pretty simple, but, I think one of the hardest. Pray without ceasing, don’t stop praying, in good times and bad, don’t stop praying! Rejoice and give thanks to the Lord for ALL things, not just when we need something. God isn’t a genie; how would [or do] you feel if your children only spoke to you when they needed or wanted something? Probably not very good, and considering our heavenly Father knows all and sees all, He already knows if you are only going to talk to Him when you need or want something – don’t do that – that isn’t a relationship. You don’t have to be at the alter or on your hands and knees every time you pray, you can pray right where you are! Prayer shouldn’t be limited to meals and bedtime!
Daniel and David prayed 3 times a day, morning, noon and night! You too can pray several times a day – while cleaning house, driving [keep your eyes open!], cooking – lots of different times you can talk with the Lord while carrying out your regular daily tasks. Just remember, you can’t have a good relationship with someone [including God] if you don’t communicate.
Paul said, Give thanks in EVERYTHING!
Everything we have is from the Lord. Our homes, cars, jobs, family, things, health, food, clothing, all of it. Why aren’t we thanking Him daily for it all? I am going to quote something I saw on Face Book, what if we only woke up with tomorrow what we thanked God for today? How empty would your home be, would you even have a home? Look at the Lord’s model prayer, the Lord’s Prayer; Jesus starts out giving reverence to God before He asks for anything.
Do you know the song, “Calvary’s the Reason Why” – it goes like this,
“When I think of the love that You've given Lord when I think of the price You paid for me Then the trials on earth, they just seem like nothing When they're compared to dark Calvary
Oh, sometimes I just want to praise You Sometimes just to speak Your name Sometimes I just want to thank You Without asking you for a thing Oh sometimes I lift my hands to You Then sometimes all I do is cry Everything that I have I owe to You, Lord And Calvary's the reason why
Yes, sometimes I just want to praise You Sometimes just to speak Your name Sometimes I just want to thank You Without asking you for a thing Oh sometimes I lift my hands to You Then sometimes all I do is cry Everything that I have I owe to You, Lord And Calvary's the reason why
Everything that I have I owe to You, Lord And Calvary's the reason why” This should be our heart-itude every day from the moment we rise until we fall off into slumber. If we had nothing else, we have Calvary, and that alone is enough. Thank You Jesus.
Paul also said, This is the will of God!
Nothing happens without the Lord being in it; either by His doings or by letting it happen – nothing surprises the Lord. Look at Job. God didn’t take everything away from Job, He allowed the adversary to take it from Job [in the end God restored it all +]. God had a plan for Job, and his life, and in the end, God got the glory and Job had a wonderful life. Same with Joseph, God had a plan for Joseph and his life, He would use Joseph to get the Hebrews into Egypt to line things up for their great deliverance years later. Joseph and Job both praised God in their infirmaries, and both of them ended up doing really well in their lives. God’s will. It is not His will for your life to mean nothing; and God can and will, do anything, however, He will NOT make you obey Him, that is your choice and your choice alone; being in God’s will doesn’t mean everything is all roses, but God will use the hard times to strengthen you and grow your faith, if you seek His will.
Paul said, Quench not the Spirit!
You are either feeding or starving your spirit. Your spirit needs to be fed daily, just as your body needs food daily. Don’t starve your spirit, when you do you are actually going backwards in your spiritual growth; you are also hindering your church, your family and of course yourself. Think about your children, if you are starving your spirit, what is that telling them, what is that doing to them? If you want to grow, if you want your family to grow and your church to grow, you have to feed your spirit. But how you ask? Daily prayer Regular church attendance and S E R V I C E Daily Bible reading and studying
Paul said, Despise not prophesyings!
There is no new prophesy; it is all written in God’s Word. Foretelling would be predicting the future, forthtelling is the preaching of God’s Word. Don’t despise the preaching of God’s Word! Regardless of who is preaching it, if it is God’s Word, don’t despise it or His truths! When you hear someone saying, “I already know this” that is their pride making excuses for them not to hear the truth; even when you think you know it, or even if you have read it yourself 100 times, there is a reason God wants you to hear it 101 times! When it’s God’s Truth, you get something from each time!
Paul said, Prove all things!
So, how do we prove the Word of God? By studying it every day, this way we know when we hear false doctrine. Don’t just take the pastor’s word for it, look it up, test it, prove it, with the Word of God! “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” II Timothy 3:16 God’s Word will never contradict itself, but will prove what is being taught.
Paul said, Hold fast to that which is good!
Remember those things that are good! God’s Word, salvation, redemption, sanctification, grace, mercy – you can fill in your personal good things! “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Paul said, Abstain from the appearance of evil! [I use this one a lot with my kids!]
We should avoid everything that even looks evil! How can we be a candle on a hill top for Christ if we are partaking in things that look evil? Remember the world is watching, and waiting; how can we draw people to Christ if they can’t tell by watching us that we are Christians? When something looks evil, even if it’s not at that moment, it probably will be later on down the road. If you see someone drinking, or using drugs, or smoking is your first though, “Oh look, there is a Christ loving person”? Probably not.
Our reputation with our brothers and sisters in Christ is important, but, our relationship with the people of the world is more important; we want to draw them to Christ, and, we have to protect ourselves, even in a moment of flesh, our lives could be ruined. If our image is ruined, it will affect our usefulness to Christ.
So, quick re-cap, in these times, how can we stay focused?
Every day find something to rejoice over
2. Pray without Ceasing!
Be in constant daily prayer
3. Give thanks!
Thank God every day for everything! Even those little things that go unnoticed by others
4. Be in the will of God!
You know for sure you can be in God’s will by reading His Word daily and praying daily, and of course, by obeying that still, small voice!
5. Quench not the Spirit!
Don’t deprive your spirit of the bread and water it needs and craves!
6. Don’t despise God’s Word!
If you think you’ve heard or read enough, then it’s time to repent and get back into His Word, it’s alive and active! It will feed your starving soul!!
7. Prove all things!
Don’t take what you read or hear [including this post] without opening your Bible and proving that it is indeed from God’s Word and His truth!
8. Hold fast to what is good!
Forget those things that are only pleasurable for a moment – those things aren’t of God, hold on to those things that are good and honest.
9. Abstain from the appearance of evil!
Don’t even do things or participate in things that look evil! Keep yourself, your reputation and your name clean before God and man!
Ok, now for the fun stuff! Click here to download your free printable to help you stay focused!
Other posts I think you'll love