Sermon on January 5 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-18
We do not know what is round the corner in 2020.
Here is God’s will, His standing orders for every day in the year.
While you wait for Jesus’ coming :
1. REJOICE ALWAYS! (v16)
- Rejoice – even when life hurts
In this year God will increase your joy, and even through affliction
‘Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of any kind because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything’ (James 1:3)
- Rejoice – joy keeps you standing like nothing else can
What fuel is to a jet engine, wind is to sails and a strong foundation is to a building, so is joy to a growing faith.
2. PRAY CONSTANTLY! (v17)
Our default spiritual condition in 2020 must be ‘O God…’
‘The Lord is near… do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 4:5b-7)
Make sure that the first daily item in your agenda for 2020 is inviting the Lord to make you even more dependent upon Him.
3. GIVE THANKS WHATEVER! (v18)
Literally, ‘in all things give thanks’
These are the ‘all things’ that God is working together for good to those who love Him (Rom 8:28)
In 2020 we may not be thankful for the circumstances that meet us, but we can be grateful for God’s grace in them.
Be prepared to thank the Lord even when surprises come.
‘Your life has been arranged on the best possible principles, so that if you had been gifted with unerring wisdom, you would have arranged a life for yourself exactly similar to the one you have at this moment. Let us trust God when we cannot trace Him’ (C.H. Spurgeon)
Are you ready for 2020? Commit yourself anew to the standing orders of the gospel, and you will be.
We will not get close to this without looking to Jesus, who got it right for us every time.
He rejoiced always, even as the man of sorrows; He prayed constantly, and always for what His Father wanted; He gave thanks whatever, for He knew His Father makes no mistakes.
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Charles Thompson