REJOICE, PRAY & THANKS (RPT) – Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always,

pray without ceasing,

in everything give thanks;

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV

I hope this little acronym will help us to remember this essential Scripture for it fulfills God’s will for all of us, as it says.

RPT [Repeat ♎️) R = Rejoice, P = Pray, T = Thanks

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

2 Corinthians 6:10
As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich.

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Matthew 5:12
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: …

Luke 10:20
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject …

Romans 12:12
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Daniel 6:10
Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.

Ephesians 6:18
Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.

SELECT COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry Commentary
5:16-22 We are to rejoice in creature-comforts, as if we rejoiced not, and must not expect to live many years, and rejoice in them all; but if we do rejoice in God, we may do that evermore. A truly religious life is a life of constant joy. And we should rejoice more, if we prayed more. Prayer will help forward all lawful business, and every good work. If we pray without ceasing, we shall not want matter for thanksgiving in every thing. We shall see cause to give thanks for sparing and preventing, for common and uncommon, past and present, temporal and spiritual mercies. Not only for prosperous and pleasing, but also for afflicting providences, for chastisements and corrections; for God designs all for our good, though we at present see not how they tend to it

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

Rejoice evermore. Not in a carnal, but in a spiritual way, with joy in the Holy Ghost; and which arises from a view of pardon by the blood of Christ, of justification by his righteousness, and atonement by his sacrifice; not in themselves, as the wicked man rejoices in his wickedness, and the hypocrite and formalist in his profession of religion, and the reputation he gains by it; and the Pharisee and legalist in his morality, civility, negative holiness, and obedience to the rituals of the law; for such rejoice in their boastings, and all such rejoicing is evil; but in the Lord Jesus Christ, in the greatness, fitness, fulness, and glory of his person, in his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, in what he is in himself, and is made unto his people, and in what he has done, and is still doing for them, and particularly in the salvation he has wrought out; and not in the things of this life, and the attainments of it, either of body, or of mind, or of estate, as in strength, wisdom, or riches; but in things spiritual, that our names are written in heaven, and we are redeemed by the blood of Christ, and called by his grace, and shall be glorified together with him; and not only in prosperity, but in adversity, since all things work together for good, and afflictions serve for the exercise of grace; and especially, since to suffer reproach and persecution for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel, is a great honour, and the Spirit of God, and of glory, rests on such, and great will be their reward in heaven: and there is always reason, and ever a firm ground and foundation for rejoicing with believers, let their circumstances or their frames be what they will; since God, their covenant God, is unchangeable, and his love to them is from everlasting to everlasting invariably the same; the covenant of grace, which is ordered in all things, and sure, is firm and immovable; and Jesus, the Mediator of it, is the same today, yesterday, and for ever.

Pray without ceasing. Not that saints should be always on their knees, or ever lifting up their hands, and vocally calling upon God; this is not required of them, and would clash with, and break in upon other parts of religious worship, and the duties of civil life, which are to be attended to, as well as this, and besides would be impracticable; for however willing a spiritual man might be to be engaged in this work always, yet the flesh is weak, and would not be able to bear it; and it requires food and drink, sleep and rest, for its refreshment and support; for all which there must be time allowed, as well as for other actions of animal life, and the business of a man’s calling. But the meaning is, that believers should be daily, and often found in the performance of this duty; for as their wants daily return upon them, and they are called to fresh service, and further trials and exercises, they have need of more grace, strength, and assistance, and therefore should daily pray for it; and besides certain times both in the closet, and in the family, in which they should attend the throne of grace, there is such a thing as mental prayer, praying in the heart, private ejaculations of the soul, which may be sent up to heaven, while a man is engaged in the affairs of life. The Ethiopic version renders the words, “pray frequently”; do not leave off praying, or cease from it through the prevalence of sin, the temptations of Satan, or through discouragement, because an answer is not immediately had, or through carelessness and negligence, but continue in it, and be often at it; see Luke 18:1. These words are opposed to the practice of such, who either pray not at all, or, having used it, have left it off, or who only pray in a time of trouble and distress, and bear hard on those who think they should not pray but when under the influences of the Spirit, and when his graces are in a lively exercise: the reason for this rule of praying with frequency and constancy is, because the saints are always needy, they are always in want of mercies of one kind or another, and therefore should continually go to the throne of grace, and there ask for grace and mercy to help them in time of need.

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

We should have a steady attitude of gratitude the permeates our entire being if we truly get it and sustain it. It, being the wonderful work of our Savior on our very on behalf. We are wise to filter every thought with a Romans 8:28 mindset and recycling it back to God via prayer. We have much to be thankful for. Yes, the world is hard at time but God has a knack for working in mysterious and wonderful ways.

This is the will of God as it says. God’s overall will. Does He have a will, a preference, a direct detail where we live, work, sit and walk? Does He control every decision and detail of our entire life? YES and NO.

He no doubt can and does as He sees fit but He doesn’t need to because He can still make it happen regardless. He can be sovereign and we can have free will at the same time.

Regardless of all that, it is abundantly clear what His will for our live is herein these three short verses.

PRAYER

LORD, Your ways are indeed much higher than mine. If You said it, that settles it. Let and help me focus on eternity.

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