Summary: We must pray in every circumstance
"Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit." 1TH 5:17-19.
As we see sin abounding in the nation and world, we have all the more reason to exclaim, "Pray without ceasing," because it is only by God’s mercy that we are what we are. Do you know the definition of mercy? Mercy is one-sided love. God shows us love in exchange for our hardness, ingratitude, obstinacy, and rebellion. To "pray without ceasing" means we must pray for mercy, or undeserved favor. If we realize that we are what we are only by God’s mercy and one-sided love, then we will be truly thankful.
If I give someone a paycheck after they’ve worked all week, they might say, "Thank you," as a courtesy, but they will not feel the same degree of gratitude as someone who receives a check who has not earned it. In the same way, we have sinned against God from Paradise to this very moment. We deserve eternal destruction, but the Lord condescends to us with such love and mercy and abundantly bestows upon us health, strength, and the comforts of life. We also have His Holy Word, which proclaims the way of salvation: "Turn ye; turn ye. Why will you die and not live? Why will you not turn from your evil ways?" Why do we trample upon all His blessings? Why do we still turn away from the Lord? By nature, we have no place for Him in our hearts. We see His one-sided love and feel true gratitude when we realize what we deserve.
Praying without ceasing and giving thanks in everything cannot be separated. The Lord ties them together in His Holy Word. We must "by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God," PHI 4:6.
"Quench not the Spirit." If the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin (that which is displeasing to the Lord), we must not quench it. We are to fall on our faces before the Lord and confess that sin and ask the Lord to forgive us.
God’s ways are so much higher than our ways .Remember those "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth,"
God blesses the springing grain with gentle showers; He sends "the former and the latter" rain. We read in JER 5:23-25, "But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you."
"Quench not the Spirit." When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our foolishness, pride, and sin, then we should not push Him away, but thank the Lord for being such a loving Father that He sends His Spirit to show us our sin.
Salvation includes much more than just saving the soul for eternity. Salvation is a state in which we must live. Salvation is seen in the necessities of life as well as in the salvation of the soul. Our text says, "Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." We give thanks for the benefits that God has bestowed on us because it is only in Christ Jesus that these benefits are given.
To understand what our text means in Verse 19, "Quench not the Spirit," we must understand how God the Father is glorified by obedience. When the Holy Spirit convinces us of sin, righteousness, and judgment and we resist and ignore His call and force our way forward in our sinful ways, then we are quenching the Spirit and the Lord will remove His blessing. The Lord is so pleased with obedience. Obedience is salvation. When we are delivered from rebellion and sin, we are saved.
True gratitude flows from a humble sense of God’s salvation in Christ. Christ must be the center of our gratitude if it is to be pleasing to the Lord. Pure gratitude flows from a fountain of unworthiness and humility and acknowledges Christ as the Benefactor. We receive every blessing in Christ. He is the King of providence and the King of kings. Only in Christ is there any benefit for hell-deserving sinners. ROM 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God ROM 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. The gift.......
Pure gratitude flows from a broken and a contrite heart in submission and unity with God’s will. In the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray,. we ask to be forgiven of our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. We have no right to ask for no more forgiveness than what we offer. So if you come before the Lord and ask for mercy, remember that those who show no mercy will receive no mercy!