Readings for the Day
1 Kings 1, 1 Chronicles 28, Psalm 91, 1 Thessalonians 5
Verses for the Day
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
As Paul wraps up his first letter to the Thessalonians, he concludes regarding the end times, "Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night." Though the believers were facing intense persecution for their faith in Jesus, they should not be afraid of that day, but stay sober and awake.
And so the question would naturally be, "How do we stay sober and alert as we wait for Jesus' return?" Paul gives three simple and practical ways. He says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances for this God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Sometimes we spend so much trying to figure out what God's will in matters that are unknown, we neglect doing His will in the things he has made abundantly clear. So Paul instructs them to these things as they wait, for this is God's will for them in Christ Jesus.
Notice what he does not say. He does not say, "Only rejoice when things are going well!" He says, "Rejoice always!" He doesn't say, "When something bad happens, then start praying!" He says, "Pray continually!" He doesn't say, "Give thanks when all is going your way." He says, "Give thanks in all circumstances!"
So let's take a sobriety test in the areas Paul has commanded us. Do you spend more time concerned what God's will is, or praying for the strength to do what he has clearly shown you to do? Do you spend more time being worried about what you don't have, or being thankful for what you do have? Can you rejoice in all things knowing that one day what we go through in this life will pale in comparison to the glory that will be revealed to us in Christ Jesus? While we don't know when Jesus is going to return, Paul gives three ways we can be sober and alert. As we stay sober "one day at a time" we can be at at peace and ready for when Jesus comes in great and promised glory.