(My notes from church at FBC Ruston, Dr. Chris presiding...)
1 Thess 5:16-18
1. Live Joyfully
Rejoice always; be joyful always
Make joy the pattern of your life
The author, Paul, understood trials; he is talking of an inward source of joy and cheer; happiness from what happens ... it fluctuates. But ...
Joy comes from...
a. Right Relationships..
First with Christ, and with other people
Gal 5:22 ... Fruit of the Spirit
Without Him there will always be a fundamental void in your heart and spirit
b. How I Choose to Perceive Life
Lincoln: "We're about as happy as we choose to be."
Phil 4:8 -- "whatever is pure, whatever is good ... think about these things.."
2. Choose To Live Dependently on God
Luke 18:1 "pray and don't give up"
Keep the lines of communication open to God always
a. The Power of Prayer ... "Prayer can do anything God can do, and God can do everything." -- Falwell
b. Keeps me mindful of my Dependence on God
Matthew 5:3 -- "blessed are the poor in spirit..." meaning, the people who realize their need for God and depend on Him ...
Learn to draw on the power of God
3. Choose To Live Thankfully
"..give thanks in all circumstances.."
The Biblical "thanks'' means to acknowledge a blessing; VOICE your gratitude
150 New Testament texts tell us to give thanks
Study after study shows that those who practice sincere gratitude are more healthy and satisfied
A life of joy pleases God and blesses both others and us