In his letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul summarised some major principles that the church should observe. Earlier in his letter, he encouraged the saints to show love and be at peace with everyone. Paul also wanted them to consider those who were not as well thought of. “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). He warned against revenge, but encouraged the saints to always do good to everyone. Later on in verse 16, Paul encouraged the church to rejoice always.
Paul was saying that, despite our challenges and difficulties, we can always find a reason to give praise and thanks to God. Our rejoicing is not in what God can do for us, but is based on who he is. Paul encouraged the church to pray without ceasing. We should never get tired of praying and bringing our requests before God. Do you get tired of speaking to your loved ones? Prayer is our conversation with our father who loves us and cares for us. Moreover, God is the main person who has the power to solve our problems. We sometimes spend too much time talking, to people who don’t have answers or solutions.
Paul warned the church not to quench the Holy Spirit. To quench the spirit means to refuse to heed to the leading or the Holy Spirit. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). Paul said that we should not despise prophecies. There are many false prophecies in our time. This does not mean that all prophets are false. Paul was saying that we should test everything. What this means is that, if you receive a prophecy from someone, test this for yourself. The main way to test a prophecy is to check whether or not it lines up with scripture. Remember that God does not contradict himself.
You should pray over anything prophesied over your life and also check to see if it lines up with what God has already told you. For example, if you have absolutely no interest in medicine and a ‘prophet’ says that you will be a doctor, then you can dismiss this as false. This is especially when it does not line up with your gifts and talents and you have already prayed and had confirmation about another career pathway. Remember that even seasoned prophets can miss it or interpret a revelation in the wrong way. What Paul suggests is that we take what is useful and stay away from every form of evil.