This verse is very specific in its command of rejoicing always, praying without ceasing and giving thanks in all circumstances. We can read just the words “rejoice, pray and thanks” without reading the associating words that help us understand their context. Words like “always, without ceasing, all circumstances” give another level of emphasis when thinking about our lives and how we integrate things like prayer.
The fact that this verse includes a word like “always” means that there will probably be days where we will not want to rejoice. Always is a definitive word that means at all times and on all occasions. Not sometimes, or when it’s all going good or when you really feel like it. It means every. Single. Time. How is this possible to rejoice always and to pray without ceasing when we don’t feel like it or to give thanks IN all circumstances? I know that the life I live does not consist of joy and happiness 24 hours a day and it is not always the most exciting thing in the world to deal with life’s challenges. The only thing I can think of is the verse in Philippians 4:7 which gives a guarantee that we will have “...a peace that passes all understanding” fill our lives to help get us through the struggles. That peace can only be accessed by trusting that God is in control of our lives 24/7 and that we cannot let worry guide our minds.
When we trust that God knows and sees it all, we can rejoice, pray and give thanks knowing that we are doing our part as God is doing His. We are obeying in the physical while knowing that God is working things behind the scenes in the spiritual.
We are praying for you that you find the joy, prayer and ability to rejoice in the middle of all circumstances.