16) “Rejoice evermore. (17) Pray without ceasing. (18) In everything give thanks — for this is the will of God — in Christ Jesus — concerning you.” 1Th.5:16-18

(4) “Rejoice in the Lord — always! And again — I say, ‘rejoice’! (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand! (6) Be careful for nothing — but in everything — by prayer and supplication — with thanksgiving — let your requests be made known unto God; (7) and the peace of God — which passeth all understanding — shall keep your hearts and minds — through Christ Jesus.” Phi.4:4-7

There is a common theme expressed in these two different portions of God’s word. Both exhort the true child of God to face whatever circumstances they find themselves in — with cheerfulness. Which entirely makes sense when we remember how Jesus tells us that “in the world” we “shall have tribulation — but be of good cheer”, He says: “I have overcome the world!” Knowing this — we can rejoice in the Lord — always and evermore. Praise His Name! Knowing this — we can be at peace without any anxiety over anything that may have adversely developed around us!

Both texts also advocate a constant — soul rendered posture and practice of prayer. To “pray without ceasing” connotes praying uninterruptedly and without omission. This suggests that the true child of God knows no down time of both an awareness and an acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty in each and every situation that unfolds as being His sovereign will for their lives. They are constantly — prayerfully plugged in — to the administrative direction of their Lord and Savior. “The Lord is at hand!” The Lord is our “refuge and strength — a very present help in trouble!”

And finally, both texts tell us that — as a true child of God — thanksgiving is also going to be ever present. Thanksgiving is the evidence of the both the absence of anxiety — and the presence of peace. And, this is true — no matter what sort of adversity we are called to face in this fallen world! It is the conduit through which we bare our souls — and bear our burdens before our gracious Savior and God! Thanksgiving is the evidence of our confidence in the truth — that God can do anything — and that He intimately cares for us by virtue of the fact that — we are to prayerfully present everything –before, and unto Him!!

In fact — this prayerful petitioning for God’s deliverance from all our cares and anxieties — is the very context that the Word presents of how we — as His true children — do humble ourselves before Him: (6) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God [I.e. under the all powerful hand of God] — that He may exalt you [Or, that He may lift and elevate you out] — in due time [I.e. at just the proper time]– (7) casting all your care upon Him — for He careth for you!” So then — we are constantly — cheerfully — prayerfully — and thankfully — casting all our cares upon Him — because He is intimately interested in all that concerns us!

For Christ’s Glory Only-
John Carpenter

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