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          “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV).

 

          Many Christians miss the peace and joy that belongs to all who obey the will of God. For many reasons man may fail to receive the blessings of joy and peace: Some are not secure in their faith and love. They have not put Christ first in their lives (Matthew 6:33-34). Others have left their first love (Revelation 2:4-5). Some have never fully committed to Christ (Romans 12:1-2). Some refuse to obey the gospel (Romans 1:16-18). It is not enough to begin a journey with Christ. The brethren of Galatia started well but were led away from the truth. Paul asked, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Galatians 3:1). He also wrote, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:7).

 

          Jesus told His disciples “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). The apostle Paul wrote, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). In spite of great persecution (II Corinthians 11:23-28) Paul was able to say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

 

          Paul tells us how we can reach a point in faith so that we can “Rejoice in the Lord.” He told the brethren at Philippi to trust God. He stated, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). When Children of God learn to think godly thoughts and put their whole life in the hands of God they will surely rejoice in Him. He wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

 

          Paul told the brethren not to be anxious or worried about the things of this life. He stated, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:5-6). When one learns to think and puts the word of God into action he can find reasons to rejoice under any circumstance (Philippians 4:4). Jesus taught, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:33-34 NKJV).

 

          Paul told the brethren of Thessalonica “Rejoice evermore” (I Thessalonians 5:16). Those who are in Christ have reason to rejoice: Their sins have been forgiven (Acts 2:38) having been washed away by the precious blood of Jesus (Acts 22:16). They have been added, by the Lord to the family of God (Acts 2:47). They are heirs of God (Romans 8:17) and have the promise of a home in heaven. Jesus stated, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

 

          Jesus promises to be with His people even in their darkest hours. Paul wrote, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). The psalmist wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me” (Psalms 23:4). The book of wisdom in the Old Testament states, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

          Will you allow the word of God to show you the path that leads to eternity with Him (Psalms 119:105; John 14:1-6)? Do you rejoice in your hope and peace?

 

                                                                                            --PER