Even though he was in prison, Paul was not imprisoned by his circumstances. In Philippians 4:4, he said: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
As I thought of the remarkable attitude of this wonderful servant of God, I thought of several places in the Psalms where you are encouraged to rejoice:
- In Psalm 9:14 the writer said that salvation is a reason to rejoice: I will rejoice in Your salvation.
- Mercy is the subject of rejoicing in Psalm 31:7: I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy.
- The faithfulness of God is another reason to rejoice. Psalm 33:21: For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.
- The writer of Psalm 119:14 said the promises of God’s
- Word were a source of joy to him: I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.
As Paul closes his first letter to the Thessalonians, he instructs them to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
To embrace the will of God for your life, I encourage you to consider how Paul made a connection between rejoicing and giving thanks. He did it in the verse above as well as Romans 12:12: “…rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…
How can “rejoicing always” can make a difference in how you you pray and how you give thanks?