23 July 2023: Rejoice always … yes, give thanks in ALL circumstances

Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home

23 July 2023


“Praises, thankfulness, and obedience; these are vital for a believer to grow into His likeness.”




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

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Last Sunday whilst I was preaching at Bethel words came out that I had not planned to say and I take it that it was of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples words would be given them by the Holy Spirit, e.g.,

Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

Mark 13:11

Paul asked the Church at Ephesus to pray for him so that whenever he preached words may be given him [by the Holy Spirit]. So I believe the Lord wanted them said.

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

1 Thess 5:16-18

This doesn’t allow for much of anything else – “always; continually; all circumstances” and if we have any doubts about such a high standard he emphasises that this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. He further emphasises it by telling them: “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess 5:19).

I believe this is the life that Jesus lived, continually in communion with His Father in heaven through the Holy Spirit, rejoicing always, praying continually, giving thanks in all circumstances. His mind was filled with heavenly matters, with the will of His Father in heaven. Our minds are remarkable gifts from God. They are precious and beautiful, holy and pure as they have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. We need to keep them like this. Paul states:

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality …

Ephesians 5:3

the literal translation “they should not be even named among you.” Don’t even talk about them; don’t even think about them – such are God’s high and holy standards!

Which brings us back to the mind. We are told “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). What do we allow to go through our minds each day? 2005 National Science Foundation research found the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. How many of these glorify God? Look at how the apostle finishes his letter:

May God Himself … sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.

1 Thess. 5:23-24

Look at the holy standard in heaven,

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Rev. 21:27

We get a few more clues as to how this is possible in a similar exhortation in Philippians:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things.

Philippians 4:4-8

So help us Lord we pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Quote of the week

“What happens in revival is this, the gospel captures our minds with such clarity that God is exalted again in our deepest thoughts and feelings.”

Ray Ortlund

Verse of the week

Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Let’s Pray

Our Father in heaven, You lay before us such high and holy standards that humanly speaking we cannot attain them. So, continually help us by Your Holy Spirit, to exalt Your Son in our every thought, word and deed, both individually, and corporately, as Your Church, the body of

Christ here on earth, for Your everlasting Glory,  in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen!