God Gives Joy, But You Must Rejoice

1 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.

Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica that they should rejoice always and give thanks in everything.  Note:  Not “for” everything, but “in” everything.  We may not be thankful for trials and difficulties we face in this life, but we can be thankful that God is with us and gives us strength for the day.

Jesus gave us one main reason why no matter the situation we can rejoice.  We have a precious promise from Him that this life is not all there is.  He is coming again and we will be with Him. 

John 14:1-3 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Luke 10:20 – “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

Romans 12:9-13 – “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”

The Psalmist made it clear that rejoicing is a choice.  Over and over he said “I will.”

Psalm 101:1 – “I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O LORD, I will sing praises

Psalm 104:33 – “I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”

Psalm 116:17 – “I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.”

Psalm 118:21 – “I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.”

Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice.”

Nehemiah told the Israelites as they returned from captivity of Babylon to Jerusalem that it was joy of the Lord that would give them the strength they needed as they began to rebuild their country. 

Nehemiah 8:9-10 – “Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’”

Isaiah wrote that because we can trust in the LORD and gain strength from him, because we have salvation through Him, we can have joy and praise the LORD.

Isaiah 12:2-6 – “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;  for YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.  And in that day you will say:  ‘Praise the LORD, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!’”

It is in His presence we can find complete joy.  If your joy is running low, spend some time in His presence, reading His word, listening to songs of praise, praying developing that close relationship with Him. 

Psalm 16:11 – “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

  • Joy is contagious – START AN EPIDEMIC!
  • You can stay depressed, oppressed, possessed, suppressed if you want to.  But as for me, I WILL PRAISE THE LORD!!!

1 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”


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