1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

by Roger D. Lipe
"Heart of a Champion - Devotions for The People of Sport"
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As athletes we're subject to having good days and bad days. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I always like winning better than losing. Enough losses in a row and any of us can get a little blue. So how do we maintain a joyful life? The Bible gives us some good answers.

In Paul's first letter to his friends in Thessalonica at chapter 5 and verses 16 — 18 he writes,

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

In these verses there are three directives and one reason that combine to show us the way to a joyful life.

  1. Rejoice always: More than a command, this is a reassuring encouragement that we can find something to be joyful about in every circumstance. Lead with your will and let your emotions follow along.
  2. Pray without ceasing: If you took this seriously you'd never sleep, eat or study. That's probably not what he meant. Surely he meant that there is never a situation for us in which prayer is not proper and powerful.
  3. In everything give thanks: Not for everything, but in everything. In all situations give thanks to the Lord and you'll cultivate a joyful, thankful attitude that rises above any circumstances.

Why? This is the will of God in Christ for you. The Lord joins you in your rejoicing, He communes with you when you pray and He blesses you when you thank Him. He is most desirous of an intimate, personal relationship with you and He knows that these things serve to deepen that relationship.

As you prepare for today's competition do these three things:

1) Rejoice — have fun!

2) Pray — talk to God.

3) Give thanks — thank Him for it all.

In doing so you are fulfilling God's will for your life today.