How to find joy today
Published on 01 September 2020
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Isn’t it ironic to think that we should be expected to rejoice in times of trouble?
Make no mistake— joy is not an elusive or unattainable concept. It can be found, and is close and available to us whenever needed. But, it is important that we do not confuse it with the emotion of happiness, which is a fleeting and fragile sense of well-being. Biblical joy is far stronger and more steadfast, capable of surviving the most challenging trials and temptations that present themselves in our lives.
So, how do we find real joy TODAY?
1. Be Thankful
Gratitude is a powerful attitude that can greatly influence our perspective and mood, and produce authentic joy.
Intentionally think of something to be thankful for today. No matter how challenging your circumstances are, fight the battle that is going on in your mind—those bombarding thoughts that are keeping you in bondage to heavy, dark feelings of hopelessness and despair. Thankfulness and positivity work quickly to disarm those threatening thoughts and emotions, replacing fear with hope and anxiety with joy.
It may seem like you have nothing to be thankful for, but what about the air in your lungs and the fact that you are loved passionately and unconditionally by the Creator of the universe? What about the fact that He is a promise keeper and has declared that He will NEVER leave you or forsake you?
We can find more than enough to be grateful for when we meditate on who God is and realise that we belong to Him and are loved, protected and provided for—despite what our current circumstances are telling us! As if that wasn’t enough, He is powerful beyond imagination and well able to rescue us. It is this undeniable hope that really stimulates the joy that we so desperately need in the face of opposition!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
When we are troubled and need help dealing with our circumstances, we often want to reach out and talk to someone. We hope to find the comfort we need in a friend or family member, expecting them to have the right words or advice to soothe our troubled minds and provide solutions to our problems.
While Godly relationships are very important in life, they can never offer the level of wisdom and comfort that can only come from the One who created us and knows everything about us and our lives. God should be our default in times of trouble. He is by nature, PEACE, JOY, LOVE and GOODNESS—all of the things that we need to restore and refresh our minds, hearts and souls.
When we pray, we talk to our Heavenly Father who is always available, always waiting, always willing and always able to supply what we need. He loves it when we seek Him, and desires to show off His glory by responding to our cries for help— just as a loving Father would respond to the cries of their distressed child.
Prayer is a powerful, supernatural weapon that stems from intimate relationship with God. The sooner we surrender and acknowledge that we cannot fight life’s battles without Him, the sooner He can step in and bring about the change we need.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
3. Meditate on God's Word
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Relationship with God is a two-way street; As we pray, we should expect to hear back from God. His Word tells us that He is constantly speaking and that we can hear and recognise His voice. The real question is whether or not we are listening with expectation.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
God has graciously given us His Word, the Bible, as a fail-safe guide to navigate our lives in a way that ultimately leads to joy and victory. It is full of promises and truths that we can apply to our lives, confident that God will cause His word to achieve what He intended it to achieve.
God’s Word is powerful, effective and unchanging, and transcends time and culture. It has never been disproven. It has the ability to expose the enemy’s lies that bring death, defeat and bondage in our lives, and present God’s truth which delivers the very opposite. God is a promise keeper, and we can be confident that if He said it in His Word, then He will deliver it in our lives!
3. 'Put on' Praise
...To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
In addition to gratitude, prayer and God’s Word, there is another powerful weapon we can depend on to create authentic joy in our lives. That weapon is PRAISE. Praise breaks the chains that hold us captive to hopeless, negative thinking and stubborn, unmoving circumstances.
One of the greatest examples of praise in action is found in the Bible’s recount of Paul and Silas, when they were imprisoned in the worst possible circumstances (see Acts 16:16-40). Thrown into a horrible jail for doing good and helping people in need, we might forgive them for wallowing in despair at their misfortune and unjust treatment. Without doubt, their emotions must have been playing havoc with them and their bodies, screaming out in pain, but instead of bitter complaints, we are told that they sang songs of praise to God from the damp, filthy, stinking darkness in which they were chained.
Those songs of praise, probably sung horribly out of tune with strained, hoarse voices, were heard in Heaven—above all of the swirling noise of Earth below, and suddenly, there came a violent shaking that broke off the chairs and opened locked cell doors. Their sincere and authentic praise, in the middle of terrible circumstances, had activated a supernatural response that brought dramatic and timely freedom, both to them, and to others around them.
When we choose to praise God and declare His character and goodness in the face of adversity, we have the power to change the atmosphere around us and usher in the miraculous Kingdom of God! When we praise, we declare the TRUTH in the face of the enemy’s lies, and God responds in power to affirm that truth! When we praise, we turn our focus away from the problem and onto God who is infinitely bigger and more powerful than the problem could ever be. Our perspective comes into alignment with Heaven’s, and we open our eyes to new possibilities and the certainty of victory!
This is what praise does, but it is more than just singing words. Our praise must come from a place of faith and trust in God, and that is only truly developed over time as we pursue a close and intimate relationship with Him and discover His trustworthiness, first -hand.
So, get to know God and fill your airwaves with the sound of praise. Pay attention to the words you are singing and ask God to reveal Himself to you as you praise Him. The more you focus on Him, the more doubt, unbelief, confusion, anxiety, anger, heaviness and fear melt away, and real joy bubbles to the surface of your life! (Planetshakers has an array of powerful praise songs to help you!)
Giving empowers joy!
Generosity is a character trait of God that He loves to see reflected in His children. It is the kind of giving that goes above and beyond what is expected, emanates from a cheerful, willing heart, has no expectation of return and often comes at great personal cost. Generous giving is another powerful weapon in the battles we face. It has the ability to release unlimited joy and provision, when exercised by faith!
Jesus lived a life of generosity, knowing that as He gave of what He had to meet the needs of others, His Heavenly Father would supply all that He needed Himself. There was no room for fear and doubt—just absolute trust in the nature and faithfulness of His Father.
Generosity begins when we choose to change the focus from our own needs—no matter how significant— and onto the needs of others. It doesn’t matter what it is that you are giving, the supernatural principle applies. Whether it’s time, finance or love—to name a few—when we give it, we open a valve to Heaven and as our resource flows out, Heaven’s flows in—pressed down, shaken together and running over!
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.
For the joy of the Lord is your strength!
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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