The will of the Always
This is the will of God: I just finished reading the book of Job. One of its outstanding features is that, because of his great and senseless suffering, Job doubted God’s heart towards him, and seriously believed that God was out to get him (Job 10:13-15). However, 1Th 5:16-18 tells us that God’s will is for us to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks. To rejoice means that God’s will is for us to be joyful. He wants us to have a deep, solid, internal joy (not merely a superficial happiness), and he wants us to always be in that condition. Even when suffering outwardly, God wants us to be joyful inwardly (cf. Heb 12:2; 2Co 7:4; 8:2; Col 1:11; 1Th 1:6); that is, He wants us to be deeply happy, no matter what the outward circumstances might be. He doesn’t want us to “suffer for Him” in misery; He wants us to suffer with Him in joy (Rom 8:17).
To pray means that I have and maintain fellowship with God. He wants no separation between He and I. If there is any sin, He wants to bring me to repentance, so that the blood of Jesus can be efficaciously applied, so that fellowship can be restored. If there is any idol, any love that comes between me and God, then He wants to beam on me with His surpassing love and beauty so that I might be wooed back to Him as my first love. He wants this kind of fellowship to be unceasing—uninterrupted and always.
To give thanks means that in my concrete situations, I am genuinely grateful to the Lord. As I’ve already mentioned, to give thanks in everything is only possible if I see Him in every situation. But this verse promises that He is in every situation, so that I will have a cause of thanks!
The will of God in Christ Jesus for you: What is God’s will for my life? According to 1Th 5:16-18, it is that I always rejoice, unceasingly pray, and give thanks in everything. But this will is in Christ Jesus—God has no interest that I be joyful, in peaceful fellowship, or thankful, apart from Him. That is outside of His will. I might have it sometimes, but God certainly is not obligated to maintain it. His will is that my joy might be in Christ Jesus (an always joy), my peace might be in Christ Jesus (an unceasing fellowship of prayer), and my gratitude be in Christ Jesus (an in everything gratitude).
Moreover, this will of God in Christ Jesus is not just a general will of God in His economy for all things, nor even just for all members of the Body of Christ. It is for you, for me—this is a very personal will. God’s will is that I, in my own personal life, might experience unending joy, uninterrupted fellowship, and ceaseless gratitude in Christ Jesus. Being in the sphere and by the means of Christ Jesus, this will of God is absolutely linked with His economy.
I love God, because He loves me so much. He is everything to me so that He can make me happy in Him all the time, and He has set this goal on His heart as His personal will for me. How I love Him!