Not A Prophet but....

I am not a prophet, but I do know what God's will for each one of us who are believers is. God's word states it succinctly in 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 - 18.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all
circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

1. Rejoice always
This is a command. We are told not to worry about anything but instead pray about everything in Philippians 4:6.
Joy depends on Jesus not on circumstances. It is not positive or possibility thinking, but reality thinking.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this
is from God.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (RSV)

2. Pray without ceasing
Prayer is a relationship. God wants us to talk to Him about everything and He wants us to listen. Pray the promises. Pray His word. (if you want a daily scripture prayer guide, join the Daily Growth email at website)

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts
and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7 (NLT)

3. Give thanks in all circumstances

Giving thanks in all circumstances actively recognizes God's sovereignty in your life.

I am always amazed to read about Paul and Silas singing hymns and praying to God in the prison cell after being beaten. (See Acts 16: 22-34)
This has been a challenge to me to learn to give thanks, to count blessings in all circumstances. Paul and Silas' hymns and prayers in their hard time was used by God to bring jailer and his family to faith in Christ. We truly are lights that need to shine our Saviour's love to others.
Giving thanks is a discipline. I have found in my life that as I focus on giving thanks in all situations there is a peace beyond comprehension in my soul.
Often I meditate on Psalm 131...I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother;

Our son, Jerard, was used by God to teach me this. Jerard would just melt into me when I held him and I heard God tell me, "As Jerard rests on you, I want you to rest in Me."

4. This is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Each of us who confess Jesus as Lord belong to Him. We are beloved by Him. I love the verse in Colossians 3:12 that says,
"as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,"

Truly the hymn we often sing to little children is the theological foundation we each need to remember all of our life:

"Jesus loves me, this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong!
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so."

Thanks to Pastor Sam Mateer for spurring these thoughts from his sermon preached at Tyrone Covenant Presbyterian Church on 11/3/13 based on 1 Thess. 5:16-18