by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
1 Thes 5:14-18 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
The apostle Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians contains clear and powerful exhortations concerning the will of God for believers. These exhortations express the specific will of God in relationships with others, with ourselves, and with the Lord. Packed into these short verses are patterns of life and behavior which receive His blessing in all these relationships.
"Warn them that are unruly"; people who are idle, undisciplined, pleasure seeking, need to know the danger they are in.
"Comfort the feebleminded"; comfort people who are disheartened; come alongside them with brotherly affection and encouraging words, and pray for them.
"Support the weak"; our natural tendency is to despise and neglect weaker people, to stay away from them since they have nothing to offer us, and can damage our reputation. Yeshua (Jesus) says no, find them, and lift them up however you can.
"Be patient toward all men"; realizing how patient God is with you, and that "patient" is the first thing that love is, [1 Cor. 13:4]. It means waiting in love and hope, with prayer, for people to see what they need to see, do what they need to do, change how they need to change.
"See that none render evil for evil;" do not allow evil men in this world to corrupt your own behavior and character. This is a constant temptation throughout life because evil people are everywhere, including the church.
"Follow that which is good"; being and doing good of every kind is our lifelong mandate as believers; there are millions of ways to obey it. This is God's will for us toward all men – even those who don't deserve it!
"Rejoice evermore"; Yeshua has rescued your eternity from unspeakable misery and pain to everlasting joy and pleasure. The constant reality of your life is undergirded by an ecstatic future forever. You can afford to be quite happy about it.
"Pray without ceasing"; 'impossible', you say. Given the fact that your relationship with the Lord is wide open to communication with Him 24/7, why not continually include Him in your words and thoughts?
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you"; gratitude is a life saver, apart from being the most appropriate response to having been created, redeemed, and blessed by our loving Lord. Thankfulness in all things turns you into the beautiful soul your were intended to be. Gratitude in the midst of suffering is a special perfume for the Lord.
The will of God is not so hard to figure out when we read these simple statements. Just obeying these exhortations is enough to do for a lifetime. Wherever the Lord calls you, He calls you to this lifestyle. God's Holy Spirit inspired these words, and He alone gives the power to carry them out. Our part is to believe and act, He will fill us as we do.