Always be joyful
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT
As followers of Christ, we are called to serve one another. Ministering to others at times will be rejected or unappreciated. Yet, we do it not for the sake of others but because of our obedience to the Lord. “We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). To take away the burden of serving others, Paul admonished believers to “Always be joyful.” The admonition is short and to the point. The key is “always” and this is only possible through God who has provided us the strength to be joyful. “Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10). The joy that believers has is not bounded by circumstances or difficulties for they are cultivated within because of their relationship with God. The Holy Spirit working within produces a supernatural joy that cannot be dampened by adverse conditions. “So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). Joy is one of the fruits that the Holy Spirit produces in the life of believers. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: joy…” (Galatians 5:22). It is only by obeying God’s command, “be joyful,” and submitting to the Holy Spirit that this fruit is produced. We cannot manufacture for it is manifested through our surrender and control of the Holy Spirit. Our joy can easily be strangled by suffering this is why we need to always be reminded that we must be focused to our Lord and Savior and be reminded of all the things He has done. “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).