While I was reading the devotional today in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young I read 1 Thes. 5:16-18. Have you read it recently? This is the text in NIV: Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Have you wondered why God did not just say be joyful and pray and give thanks all the time? Each of the words are different.
The word “always” or in the KJV “evermore” is the Greek word pantote (Strongs G3842) which means at all times. So we are to rejoice in ALL things not just the things we like. The book of Philippians outlines the gift of suffering. One of the ways that we become joyful is through this suffering.
The word “continually” or in the KJV “without ceasing” is the Greek word adialeiptos (Strongs G89) which means without omission. So we are to pray about everything in our life. The same word without ceasing is translated “yet again” in Genesis 18:29 (Strongs H3254) This occurs in the story of Abraham pleading for his nephew Lot’s city of Sodom. Each time Abraham asks the Lord to spare the city, he asks the Lord for more. Will God destroy the city if He can find 50 righteous people? 45? 40? 30? 20? 10? Therefore we are to pray continually for all things that are on our hearts even if we think that we are being bold in our prayer as Abraham thought.
The words “in all circumstances” equal the Greek word pante (Strongs G3839) which means wholly and always. Therefore, we are to give thanks for everything that comes our way even if we don’t feel like it.
Consider your day today. Have you rejoiced even in the disappointments? Have you prayed for each thing throughout the day? Have you thanked Him for all things that have crossed your path today?