#DailyDevotion Living A Life Of Faith In Christ Jesus
1 Thess. 517Never stop praying. 18Whatever happens, thank God, because that is what God in Christ Jesus wants you to do. 19Don’t put out the fire of the Spirit. 20Don’t despise God’s Word when anyone speaks it. 21But test everything and cling to what is good. 22 Keep away from every kind of evil.
There seem to be a lot of absolutes in this periscope (a portion of scripture). Always, Never, Whatever, Test, Everything and Every. God is more black and white than you normally think.
Never stop praying. Now this does not mean that you never do anything else. What it does mean though is some people either not getting what they want or they just get lazy quit praying. Don’t do that. You may not always see the results of your prayer but we have this promise, James 5:16 “The earnest prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much.” If your faith is in Christ then this promise cannot fail. Keep praying anyway.
Whatever happens, thank God. Seriously, just give it a try. I know it will very difficult at first. When good things happen, give thanks to God. When bad things happen, give thanks to God. You don’t know what good God is going to yield from this evil thing. Others may only intend for evil to come of an evil thing to you but remember Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. They meant it for evil but God meant is for good, to place Joseph in a position of power so he could save this family from the coming worldwide famine. We also have this promise, Rom. 8, 28 “We know that God works all things out for good for those who love God, who are called according to His plan.” Trust God to know what he is doing and give him thanks. Your whole outlook on life will change for the better. St. Paul even says here, “that is what God in Christ Jesus wants you to do.” Now this applies not only to giving thanks, but praying and rejoicing as well.
Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire. When someone is zealous for the LORD, the Law and the Gospel, let them. They want to change the world, let them. They are an encouragement to us not to lose our first love and become complacent.
20 “Don’t despise God’s Word when anyone speaks it. 21But test everything and cling to what is good.” Well first and foremost this pertains to preaching and teaching the Word of God. We should not despise the Word because we despise the messenger. We may think the person speaking to us knows what he is talking about when applying the Word of God to us in our situation. Rather, we should listen to what they say and then examine it. Test what people say about God’s Word. Is it God’s Word? If so, is it properly applied? Is it properly explained in context?
“Keep away from every kind of evil.” This is probably the hardest because evil is so pervasive and ubiquitous. Yet we do not have to participate in it, which is what Paul is getting at. Otherwise we would have to leave the world. In Christ, we have been freed from sin. We are no longer slaves to it and its desires.
Heavenly Father, help us to fulfill Paul’s commands here that we may live according to your will by giving us faith and your Holy Spirit for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.