Summary: How are you expressing yourself to a lost world? Christians ought to be the happiest people around. Our text looks at how to be a happy Christian.
How to be a Happy Christian
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Who here today wishes to be happy? – (Just raise your hands.)
“Several years ago the #1 song on the pop charts was titled: ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. It was an upbeat song with an upbeat message. It had a kind of Reggae beat and was reminiscent of a carefree day at the beach. While there was no theological message intended in the song, I think we Christians could take a lesson from the concept it employs.” - [Troy Mason - “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (April 2000 Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) – SermonCentral.com]
This song’s concept of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” should be the desire and experience of every Christian.
Have you ever seen Christians who are just bubbling over with joy and always seem to have a smile on their faces? Usually when we see Christians like this, we often wonder why is it that we can’t be happy just like they are.
We ask ourselves –
> Are these Christians blessed by God in a special way?
> Why is it that they are always happy no matter the circumstance?
> What is it that I need to do to be that happy?
You say you want to be happy?
Then look to our text.
For here it reveals the four aspects of what it means –
“How to be a Happy Christian” -
Vs. 16 – Rejoice always
Rejoice – Greek: chairete, (# 5463) – means: “rejoice, be glad, be delighted” - (2nd person present active imperative verb = “you” are demanded to …) - [Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament by Friberg, Friberg, and Miller. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000, p. 406].
You rejoice – That your names are recorded in heaven – Luke 10:20.
Be glad – That you can face the world each day - Psalm 118:24.
Be delighted – In the Lord that you may have the desires of your heart - Psalm 37:4.
** What circumstance do you think can come up in your life that God can not be there for you to face?
** What sin can you do that He cannot forgive?
There are none that I can come up with. Therefore, why be sad? - Unhappy? - Depressed? – Trouble? - Afraid? ---- As Jesus rejoiced in securing out salvation, let us “always” rejoice in Him! – Hebrews 12:1-2.
Vs. 17 - Pray without ceasing
Pray – Greek: proseuchomai, (# 4336) – means: “a religious technical term for talking to a deity in order to ask for help, usually in the form of a request, vow, or wish” [Friberg, Ibid., p. 333].
Pray - To our Father - Matthew 6:9-13.
Ask - In Jesus name - John 13:13-14.
Call - By the Holy Spirit - Ephesians 6:18.
> Do you think He is all-present? (Omnipresence)
> Do you think He is all-knowing? (Omniscience)
> Do you think He is all-powerful? (Omnipotence)
** Do you believe that God is sovereign?
Then call on His name in making your petitions known to Him – in a constant attitude of trust ---- For He delights in providing for His own generously – James 1:5-6.
Vs. 18 –
A. - In everything give thanks
Thanksgiving – Greek: eucharisteo (# 2168) – means: “predominately as expressing gratitude to God …” [Friberg, Ibid., p. 182].
Praise - Sacrifice of praise ... thanks to His name - Hebrews 13:15.
Everything - Prayer & supplication W/Thanksgiving - Philippians 4:6.
Always - For all things in Jesus Nmae - Ephesians 5:20.
** What has come into your life that you feel that you cannot be thankful to God?
> Suffering – Oh thank God that you have an opportunity to tell others how He supplies you His grace.
> Fear – Oh thank God that you have an opportunity to tell others of how God protects you from all foes.
> Death – Oh thank God that Jesus has come and through Him there is hope beyond the grave for those found in Him.
** “We recognize God’s sovereign hand is in charge, not [a] blind ‘fate’ or ‘chance” - [David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, 9-13-03, http://www.studylight.org/com/guz/view.cgi?book=1th&chapter=005&verse=016] – therefore we are certain of His love for us (John 3:16) and can give thanks to God.
Vs. 18 –
B. - For this is the will of God
Will – Greek: thelema (# 2307) – means: “generally the result of what one has decided; objectively will, design, purpose, what is willed” [Friberg, Ibid., 195].
Philippians 2:13 – “It is God who works in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”