Is it possible to give thanks in everything?
1....pray without ceasing,
2.in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
3.Do not quench the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-19
I have been reading this passage so many times this week that I have been starting to memorize it which is good. To me, this whole passage in 1 Thess 5 is basically a summing up of how we should live our lives. It is a good, simply stated list of rules to follow.
1.Pray without ceasing
The meaning of this verse is, that believers should daily pray because as they go through the day, they are often in need of God and call upon Him in trials. That is when they have more need of grace, strength, and assistance, and therefore should daily pray for it. As well as praying by yourself and with your family, you should also mentally pray, which is praying in your heart. You can do this while you are busy with the duties of life. The opposite of a person who does that would be someone who either doesn't pray at all, those who stop after praying for a while, or those who only pray in a time of trouble and distress.
You are dependent on God for every good thing; without him you can do nothing. Feel that dependence at all times, and you will always be in the spirit of prayer. Those who feel this spirit will be found praying much more often. (abridged from Clarke's and Gill's commentary)
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you
Often only thank God for the good things in our lives, such as a birthday gift or our Dad getting a job or us getting to go somewhere we've been wanting to go to. But is this what God wants us to do? Biblically, no. We should thank and praise God every single day for more than one or two things. We should make effort to thank God for the smallest blessings and tell God that you trust Him throughout trials. That will help you get used to seeing the good that God has planned throughout the distresses of life. You may not always see to the other side of the trial, but God does, so you can put everything in His hands and trust that He will bring you safely to the end of it. You will be stronger through it and will have learned character as well if you made effort to draw near to God not fall away. That is a key point of learning through trials.
Do not quench the Spirit
This is kind of a peculiar thing to read when you first look at it, but when you look deeper, you will see that it is a very important and serious truth to remember.
The Holy Spirit is the source of true devotion. Every genuine Christian is made a partaker of the Spirit of God; and he who has not the spirit of Christ is none of his.
It is represented as a fire, because it is His job to enlighten and quicken the soul, and to purge, purify, and refine it. This Spirit is represented as being quenched when any act is done, any word is spoken, or any temper indulged that is contrary to God's law. It is the Spirit of love, and therefore anger, malice, revenge, or any unkind or unholy temper, will quench it so that it will withdraw its influences, and then the heart is left in a state of hardness and darkness. Be watchful that it does not happen to you. Pray for the Spirit to fill you and then follow it's leadings using your conscience. Fire can be quenched by heaping dirt on it or throwing water on it and similarly the love of the world will grieve and quench the Spirit as any other sin does. (abridged from Barnes' Notes and Clarke's Commentary)
I will finish verses 20-22 next week. This week's letter has helped me learn a lot. I hope it does the same to you. Let's PRAY that God will help us give THANKS and follow the SPIRIT'S leading as we walk each day trying to please God and give Him glory.