Nov 15th, 2021
The Secret Sauce: Be Joyful Always
By: Evan Wehrle
2 minute read 

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always. (NIV)

Over the next three weeks our teaching series is looking at 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.”

Notice the words, “always, continually, in all circumstances.” These are action words; things that should be consistent, things that make up our character and who we are. But is there any other command in Scripture that we say “yeah sure” more than one’s like these? We get being joyful, but the always part? Really? 

Is God telling us to have a picnic in a warzone? To act like nothing's wrong? To ignore the challenges and pain around us? 

No, quite the opposite in fact. I believe people who’ve learned to “rejoice always” are actually more in tune with reality. More in tune with what’s really happening around them. Both the seen and the unseen.

They constantly point to the wonder of life. They stop and laugh with  children instead of dismissing them for more “important” things. They notice the intricacy and beauty of nature instead of rushing through life in a hurry. They make eye contact and smile A LOT. They listen and remember what you shared. They’ve trained themselves to see each person the way God sees them. 

That’s why Christian joy is compelling; it stands out; it makes a difference in us and others. Being joyful in a world lacking in joy always demands an explanation.

So Paul isn’t teaching us to be happy all the time, he’s teaching us to choose joy. We have to choose some emotion; he recommends joy. When he says, “Always rejoice,” it’s in the imperative tense, which makes it a command. Paul isn’t telling us to feel something; he’s telling us to do something...and surely he wouldn’t command us to do something that couldn’t be done. So he says choose joy.  

This week I want to help us do just that by looking at four roadblocks to our “rejoice always” ambition: Comparison. Commotion. Cynicism. Circumstances. We’ll start with Comparison tomorrow, see you then!

Talk with God about all your objections to his “rejoice always” command. I know I’ve got some! What situations, or people, or things make that feel impossible to do. Voice them to God and ask for His help this week as you decide to live this command out.

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