1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rev. Brian K. Brown, St. Mark M.B. Church
Paul writes this letter during a time much like ours where they experienced worries, concerns, and problems that perplexed them. Paul reminds his readers that they belong to the Lord and because he is always in control their posture before him should be one of trusting him amidst the trials. They should be peaceful because of him against the panic for the Lord will triumph over the trouble and times in which they lived.
In Colossians 1:14-18 which marries verse 18 in 1 Thessalonians, Paul says no matter what it looks like, what you’re going through, no matter what comes our way, we should understand that God never lets anything come without us understanding that he is not taken by surprise by the circumstances of our lives. God is not surprised because before trouble shows up he knows it’s coming. He wants us to know that no matter what, our task is to be thankful we have a God who is above our problems, knows how to meet us in our problems and how to bring us out of them.
A lot of things have come in our lives that were out of our control. While we can’t control what will come, there is one who controls everything and while he controls everything he’s not bound to control it like we’d like. We don’t get to tell God how to control them. In all that happens in our lives, God says be thankful not for problems but thankful he can control the things that are happening. We should always be in a praying and praise posture. Pastor Brown posed this question of the text: Since God is in control what will thanksgiving produce?
The first point from verse 16: Since God is in control hope is found. No matter what comes in our lives because we’re always thankful God is in control, my thankfulness produces for me hope that I can find when hope shouldn’t be there. Have you been in circumstances where hope should not have been present, but because we know God is in control, there was hope? Everything will not go our way, but God will use everything to bring us to our expected end. Our thanksgiving should wake up the hope in us to realize if God is in control. It doesn’t matter what is out of control God is able to take it, put it in control and make it work for our good. Hope says we don’t have to fret, God will deliver. The fastest way to receive hope is to tell God thank you.
The second point from verse 16: Since God is in control help is freed. Hebrews 4:16 tells us we find grace to help in time of need. We come to the King through prayer. Pray without ceasing says we can petition God and he will give an audience to our issue, and we can find grace to help in time of need. Help can’t come out until we go in. When we go in prayer we secure help will come out for our needs. Are we not getting help because we don’t go in to God through prayers? If we go in occasionally, help will come out occasionally, etc. Whatever we need, we should take it to God in prayer. If we are ceaseless in our prayer then God will be ceaseless in his help.
From verse 18, the last point: Since God is in control happiness is felt. Happiness is not worldly happiness. This is not an earthly, physical happiness but divine and supreme happiness. This happiness is defined by God making all things happen. Worldly happiness is marked by what is happening around us. Supreme happiness is marked by God making everything happen. It’s not what is happening but who makes all things happen. God has never failed. He can take the good and the bad and make something great happen out of it. We should thankful that God is in control.
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