Devotionals


Section Title

Work Hard & Smile A Lot

There are many “to do” lists that have been written on how to have a good day or be successful. Most are repetitious and just someone’s ideas about what you and I should do. These lists are generally predictable grandiloquence of how to feel better.


It is probably no secret that we should all work diligently and smile in excess as we go about our day. I have met some folks who want to know how to work hard and smile all day long. Now I know it is not you or your friends, but it is noticeable how many folks have not comprehended the list (or even desire to read) on how to have a good day.


The Apostle Paul has provided some ideas about how working and smiling can happen simultaneously.  When reading his ideas, I am amazed that what he wrote 2,000 years ago still applies today.


In 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, it seems Paul must have grasped the concept of working industriously and cheering up others along the way. Notice how his ideas are more like a recipe than a list, but they certainly are meaningful and doable.


  1. Always rejoice – If you are saved by Jesus, acknowledge that you are greatly loved. (v. 16)
  2. Always pray – Life is the way that it is, and you have the privilege to talk with the One who loves you the most, Who knows best, always does the best, and, did I mention, loves you the most. (v. 17)
  3. Always grateful – When your heart acknowledges what God has done for you, there is no other response than gratitude. (v. 18)
  4. Always aware – The Holy Spirit is working to accomplish something in your life in each circumstance. Make an effort to understand what that is. (v. 19)
  5. Always learning – Be willing to learn more about what you think you already know. (v. 20)
  6. Always discerning – Decisions matter - seek truth and facts. These produce better decisions than opinions ever will. (v. 21)
  7. Always true – It is amazing how easy it is to mess up. Fight! Battle to not do that! (v. 22)
  8. Always confident – Let peace rule your heart, knowing that GOD IS continually WORKING to make you holy. (v. 23)
  9. Always believing – Be persuaded that God is a faithful God toward those who trust Him; therefore we have everything we need to faithfully serve Jesus. (v. 24)
  10. Always praying – Every life has many battles. Pray for others. It easier to smile at someone when you have prayed for him or her. (v. 25)
  11. Always be nice – COVID may hamper this ancient greeting-with-a kiss thing, but you can still be nice. (v. 26)
  12. Always encourage – There is no remedy for the heavy heart like God’s Word (and a smile). (v. 27)
  13. Always humble – Realize the full riches of God’s grace on you and give grace to others as freely as Jesus has for you (v. 28)


It seems a little long doesn’t it? Nevertheless, I have found, even though it is at times difficult to “work hard and smile a lot,” it is without a doubt worth it. For yourself and others!


That, my friends, is the way the Apostle Paul explains the concept of working hard and smiling a lot. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:9, and you might even might start whistling while you work!


by Dr. Steve Lawrence

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