I’m sure we all have a lot on our daily To-Do lists: grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, laundry, kid’s soccer practice, etc.
Some days it might seem like our To-Do list is a mile long!
Do you have items that are on your To-Do list every day? Maybe things like cleaning the kitchen or picking up around the house. What about when it comes to matters of the heart? Have you ever thought about having spiritual items on your daily To-Do list?
I want to encourage you to put 3 items on your daily list from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Having these 3 items on your daily To-Do list can completely change your day (and your life!).
1. Rejoice Always
To rejoice means ‘to make joyful; to gladden; to exhilarate’. When the rest of the world is whining, complaining, and criticizing, God says rejoice. Always. Not just when we’re in a good mood or things seem to be going our way. But always. What exactly do we rejoice in? Scripture tells us:
- “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance…” (Romans 5:3)
- “…rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
- “Rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15)
- “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10)
As Christians, we have so much to exhilarate and gladden our hearts! We need only mine the treasures of God’s Word to see why.
2. Pray Continually
Did you know that prayer can be an on-going conversation with our Heavenly Father throughout the day? Sometimes we might be tempted to think that prayer can only happen at church or during our daily devotions. While these specific times of prayer are indeed very important, we can also pray to God at all times of the day – while we’re cooking, cleaning, paying bills, sitting in traffic, etc. We can adore Him, confess sins to Him, pray on behalf of others, pray over difficult situations, thank Him, and tell Him what is on our hearts. There is literally nothing we cannot talk to God about. So, if that’s the case, it makes sense that we would pray continually about everything throughout the day! What a blessing!
3. Give Thanks in All Circumstances
Similar to rejoicing always, giving thanks in ALL circumstances can have a profound impact on our lives. When we choose to give thanks rather than whine or complain, we are retraining our brains to view the world differently and experience the joy we talked about above. This can have a profound impact on our lives. Rather than looking for the negative in every situation, we will learn to view our circumstances through the eyes of faith in our all-knowing, all-loving, all-good God! When we truly love Him and trust Him, we can know with complete certainty that “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). With that knowledge, thanksgiving in all circumstances should be the natural response!
Do you see the words that Paul chose to use in this passage? Always. Continually. All. He was trying to get the point across that believers are to live a lifestyle of rejoicing, on-going prayer, and thanksgiving. These aren’t reserved for special occasions. They are meant to be the day-in, day-out actions of one who abides in Christ. They are the overflow of our relationship with Him. When you know and love the Lord, you can’t help but rejoice always, pray to Him continually, and give thanks to Him in all circumstances. Now, those are items that can actually transform the rest of our To-Do list! And the rest of our lives!