1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice ever more.…
How can man, constituted as He is, rejoice evermore? And if it be the duty of the believer sometimes to think with sorrow of his sins, how can it be his duty to be always glad? Let two considerations serve for a reply.
1. The penitence required of the believer is not the unmitigated anguish of remorse, but a feeling, painful, as from its very nature it must be, but soothed and sweetened by the exercise of Christian faith and hope — a dark cloud, but gilded by the glorious sunshine.
2. "Evermore" does not necessarily mean, without the slightest intermission, which is physically impossible, but without abandoning the practice — habitually and onwards to the end. Even the calamities of life, and the sense of his own unworthiness, must not make the believer permanently cease to be happy. In order to the habitual experience of joy on the part of the child of God, his mind must come into contact with what is fitted to make it glad; and it is obvious from the nature of the case, and from a multitude of texts (Isaiah 50:10; Luke 2:10, 11; Acts 8:39; Romans 5:2, 11; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:9, etc.), that spiritual happiness may be derived from the following sources: —
(1) The believing and realizing apprehension of the gospel — the "glad tidings of great joy";
(2) The recognition, by faith and its fruits, of a personal interest in Christ;
(3) Filial confidence in God;
(4) The anticipation of the heavenly glory;
(5) The promotion of religion in the world.
(A. S. Patterson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Rejoice evermore.
WEB: Rejoice always.