“God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin” (1 Thessalonians 4:3 NLT).
“Rejoice always. Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)
Often we diligently seek God’s will in unclear matters while neglecting, or blatantly disobeying, his clearly stated will. God is not obliged to show us His concealed will if we’re ignoring His revealed will. In the above passages, God plainly states His will for each of us: holiness and joy.
Some have said, “God doesn’t want you happy; he wants you holy.” This simply isn’t true. He wants you to be both. But, He knows you will not be ultimately happy unless you’re holy. Holiness is the idea of being set apart for special and/or honorable use, like the good china your mom used only for special guests.
Nothing dishonors our bodies and God’s purposes for us as much as sexual sin. It pollutes our mind, scars our souls, and breaks up our families. God wants to keep us from that heartache. But, unless we are choosing to rejoice in Him and be thankful in our present circumstances, we’ll gravitate toward immediate gratification. Left unchecked, this almost always eventuates into sexual sin of some sort.
A good exercise to foster a sense of wellbeing in Jesus is to practice 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 in reverse order. Give thanks in everything every chance you get. Andy Andrews said, “It’s impossible for the seeds of depression to take root in a grateful heart.” When you’re purposely thanking God, you are praying. Thankful praying moves the hand of God on our behalf. This empowers you to choose joy in spite of the circumstances. When you’re happy in Christ, sin loses its appeal.
So, fellow child of God, let’s choose to be set apart for honorable use. Let’s choose to be happy AND holy in Christ.
Paul R Downing