As we noted yesterday, we must pray without ceasing in order that we may have the proper joy. Constantly, in every aspect of our lives, we need help from God in order to be joyful, even when we have physical pains and tears. And the proof that our prayers are heard is the spiritual joy that causes us to be thankful to God for all that He does for us.
We find this truth in the verse following those that call us to be joyful evermore and to pray without ceasing. In I Thessalonians 5:18 Paul exhorts us thus: "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Get that awesome truth! In every thing give thanks. No matter what it is into which God has led you, thank Him for it. To do that, we must remember what Paul wrote in Romans 8:28 , namely, that "All things work together for good to them that love God." And "all things" certainly includes the pains and agonies and death in persecution. It is God Who is speaking here through Paul. Always, in every circumstance of life, we must thank God in the assurance that in His love and wisdom He sends us what is necessary for our reaching the glory He promises us in Christ. We must never think that He sends us anything unnecessary for our glory.
Therefore we must heed this calling of God through Paul. Give God thanks and never question His goodness, no matter how much what He sends hurts your flesh. He, the all-wise God, never makes a mistake or forgets what He promises us. All things do work together for our good.
Go back then to the preceding exhortation: "Pray without ceasing." Pray, and in your prayer confess your sins; but also pray for grace to have your faith in God grow stronger, and to find your joy in things spiritual. And pray to God that He will make your thankfulness and trust in Him grow.
Read: Psalm 73 .
Quote for Reflection:
… In short, in order to walk uprightly, we must necessarily put away ‘respect of persons’, which obscures the light and perverts right judgment, as God frequently inculcates in the Law, (Deuteronomy 1:16;16:19,) and as experience also points out. - John Calvin