God's Will for You Today, Part Three Praise Him!
1Thesselonians 5: 18 - give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
We often lament our seeming inability to discern the will of God for our lives. We can find ourselves facing life changing decisions and seeking the will of God only to hear nothing. Too often, we have decided and then seek "confirmation" as opposed to seeking the will of God before making decisions. The bible is filled with direction on the will of God but nowhere does it seem clearer then in Paul's closing remarks to the Church at Thessalonica (1st Epistle). As the Apostle Paul is signing off his letter, he provides seven instructions which he refers to as, "God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Seven of course is God's number of perfection and each of these imperatives are given their own separate verse, even though they are contained within only two sentences. No matter what circumstance you may face in your life, you can match it up with these seven imperatives to discover the will of God for you in Christ Jesus!
So far we have seen it is God's will for you to be happy and to develop a close personal relationship with Him through a God consciousness of prayer. The third imperative the Apostle Paul outlines for us is found in verse 18. We are made to praise God! It is his will for your life to give Him thanks in all circumstances. Psalm 100, is noted as a psalm for giving thanks:
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100 1-5
Who is to praise God? All the earth! How are we to praise Him? With gladness! Why? Because we know that we are His; His love endures forever, and He is faithful through all generations. When we truly reflect upon this in light of the continual disappointment we find in man and the world, it is no wonder the Psalmist insists that we should only enter the presence of God with thanksgiving and praise!
In the Gospel of Luke we see Jesus being praised by his disciples and the hypocritical Pharisees asking Jesus to rebuke His disciples. Jesus' response should be sobering for us all today:
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:40
Don't let the stones out praise you! When is the right time to praise God?
Always! That was what we were made to do. God does not want us focusing on our
circumstances because while all things are possible with God, we can often talk
defeat into His planned victories for our lives. In the Old Testament we find
the King Jehoshaphat being informed that a vast army is marching toward him
with the intent to make war. While he was alarmed in his own understanding, the
king called for a fast throughout