Rejoice Always, Pray Constantly, Give Thanks in Everything

This post is the fifth in a series adapted from Anticipating His Arrival, a family Advent devotional by Rick Brannan. We will be posting one devotional a day through Christmas.

 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, who also will do this.

Discussion Questions

What sorts of things does Paul tell the Thessalonians to do?

Response: Paul tells the Thessalonians to:

  • Rejoice always (v. 16)
  • Pray constantly (v. 17)
  • Give thanks (v. 18)
  • Do not quench the Spirit (v. 19)
  • Do not despise prophecies (v. 20)
  • Hold fast to what is good (v. 21)
  • Stay away from every form of evil (v. 22)

What is Paul’s wish for the Thessalonians?

Response: Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians is that they will be sanctified (v. 23; see also 1 Thess 4:3) and that they will be ready for the return of the Lord. When the guidelines he gives in vv. 16–22 are present in their lives, the Thessalonians show their progress toward being ready.

How does this relate to joy during the Advent season?

Response: The Lord is coming back, and he is faithful. He will prepare us for his return. When we recognize evidence of his preparation, we should rejoice and remember that he will return.

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