1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
One of the hardest parts of Scripture are these blanket statements made by Paul. It isn’t that they are hard to understand really; it is that they are very hard to do. With words like always, continually and all, there isn’t any room for wondering what Paul was trying to say. But don’t miss the real point of these verses either. Paul isn’t saying that we have to walk around perpetually smiling as we mumble words to God. He is telling us that we need to have real joy. Godly joy that isn’t dependent on our circumstances or the moment, but on God’s love for us. Continual prayer is an attitude of communion with God moment by moment through all of our lives. And giving thanks in all circumstances isn’t some flippant thing. Remember this was written by the guy who sang from his prison cell and watched the chains break free. He might know a thing or two about the power of thanksgiving and joy.