When Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:16 to "Rejoice evermore," he means that we should rejoice in what Christ has done for us, and is doing for us. From the material point of view we cannot rejoice evermore. Pain and death will come to every one of us. Then too the children of God face the coming Antichrist with his cruelty which we will have to suffer. But even then we must and can rejoice in the salvation Christ has earned for us and is giving to us.
In order that we can do this, as we noted yesterday, we must pray without ceasing. We do need to pray for the ability to rejoice evermore. And the word "evermore" means "always." Come what may, physically, amid all the tears and sorrows of persecution and loss of loved ones because of the cruelty of the enemy, we must and can rejoice evermore in salvation. The birth of a child brings severe pain and discomfort for the mother, but she rejoices in what God gives her. So does the sincere child of God, no matter what physical woes he still has in this life.
To have this we must pray without ceasing. We must pray to God for strength and faithfulness, even though the world ridicules, mocks, and torments us. We must pray for strength to take hold of that truth of Romans 8:28that all things work together for our good.
Pray then without ceasing for the ability to rejoice in the spiritual even when the physical is very painful. Pray for a strengthening of your faith. Pray without ceasing for rejoicing evermore in spiritual blessings which assure that your body and soul will one day be in the glory of Christ's kingdom.
Thank God for His Son and His cross; and rejoice in the truth that God sent all this for you. Pray for that joy, and your joy will move you to thank God for the gifts of His grace.
Read: Philippians 4:8-20
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Through the Bible in One Year
Isaiah 51; Isaiah 52; Isaiah 53:1-12
Quote for Reflection
Christian Warfare: “Believers are plainly taught to use active personal exertion, and are addressed as responsible for doing energetically what Christ would have them do, and are not told to 'yield themselves' up as passive agents and sit still, but to arise and work. A holy violence, a conflict, a warfare, a fight, a soldier's life, a wrestling, are spoken of as characteristic of the true Christian." - J. C. Ryle