Two simple words: Rejoice evermore. That’s the whole command contained within 1 Thessalonians 5:16. This simple command is easily read but not always easily followed.

Paul tells us to “rejoice,” which means “to be full of cheer, regardless of circumstances.” We must take the bad that happens to us in this world in stride and keep our focus on our Heavenly reward. That’s doable for Christians. That’s not so hard. Right?

What is hard is the second word in the verse: We are to rejoice “evermore.” We have to always be cheerful, no matter the circumstances. That’s not so easy, because sometimes the circumstances are very bad indeed. But with the help of God as our Shepherd it can be done. If we take each challenge or hardship one at a time and take them with the Lord at our side, we will rejoice. And we will rejoice evermore because the reason for our rejoicing is the eternal promise of God. Those promises don’t go away when adversity strikes so there’s no reason for our rejoicing to go away either. Yes sometimes things are bad and in those times we forget to smile, but we should never forget to rejoice, because no matter how bad things are, they’re not bad enough to deprive us of Heaven (Romans 8:35-39).

And that’s reason to rejoice evermore!