(An excerpt series from a chivalry devotional to be published next year.)
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoicing, praying, and being thankful are acts that I would never have thought to command so vehemently if I were writing to the Thessalonians. Yet, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit upon Paul, we can see these oft undervalued actions are of vital concern to God. He demands we do them in plain language: they are not just suggestions. He tells us in this passage to do them habitually, to continuously rejoice, pray, and thank until they become habits.
Rejoicing, praying, and gratitude are actions we do, visible to the world around us, and not just descriptions of our emotional state. Like many qualities of chivalry, if they fall short of action they lose their force and power.
These three spring directly from a wellspring of solid faith. We believe God and know His splendid work of salvation, so we pray and rejoice and are thankful. Perhaps that’s why these things are so important to our God, whom Scripture tells us will not be pleased without faith (Hebrews 11:6).
These three habits directly relate to the Commandments of Chivalry. Rejoicing is an outflowing of the 1st Commandment, and is a major source of inner strength required in the 5th Commandment. Prayer is a reflection of the faith commanded in the 1st Commandment, and a reflection of the concern for others commanded in the 3d. Gratitude flows from the redemption accomplished by our Lord Christ in the 1st Commandment, and is the major reason we should show largesse in the 9th Commandment.
What are more reasons these three are important? How we can build joy, prayer, and gratitude into our lives? How do they further relate to chivalry? Stay tuned for the next few posts in the series…