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12 Things to Do To Have More Joy!

12 Things To Do To Have More Joy!

During this joyful season, some Christians can have less joy when confronted with annoying relatives; feeling burdened at work; bad traffic/weather; and numerous other stressors that seem to become magnified this time of year.  Scripture tells us that we have an enemy that comes to "steal, kill and destroy."  Satan and the world would love to steal our joy because God says, "the joy of the LORD is our strength, and a joyful mind causes healing".  Satan and the 'world' as defined in the Bible are enemies of the children of God. Without joy, Christians will be weak and lack healing which is why the world and Satan seek to rob Christians of their joy.  As Christians we should be the most joyous people of all people because we know the Sovereignty and Goodness of God; our sin has been forgiven; we have a personal relationship with Jesus; we have the truth of God's Word; we have the guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit; and we have the promise of an eternity with God in heaven!

God wants us to have joy overflowing:  " I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love [and do not doubt My love for you].  If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing. John 15:9-11 AMP

Persecution & Trials should not take away our joy:   "Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials."  James 1:2 AMP

"Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  Matthew 5:12 AMP

Our joy comes from the Lord: "For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity]." Philippians 1:21 AMP

"You became imitators of us and [through us] of the Lord, after you welcomed our message in [a time of] great trouble with the joy supplied by the Holy Spirit" 1st Thessalonians 1:6 AMP

What things can try to rob us of our joy?  I asked myself, friends and family members and here's a short list that was quickly assembled:  

  • people at work trying to push their work off on me
  •  gossip
  • feeling like you've been set-up to fail,
  • sickness or uncomfortable with physical pain
  • someone talking about your child in a negative way
  • feeling disrespected
  • sudden surprises (like fraud on your debit card) 
  • cliques/feeling left out
  • unfulfilled expectations (like certain family members not making time for you on holidays as you would like)
  • someone stealing a parking spot or texting at a light so you can't make it through on the green
  • impatient people
  • inconvenience of any kind
  • no goals in life to aim for
  • guilt/buried sin
  •  complaining people
  • insufficient rest
  • comparing yourself to others

What, or who, do you allow to steal your joy?

12 Ways to Have More Joy: "A heart full of joy and goodness makes a cheerful face..." Proverbs 15:13 AMP

1) Pour your heart out to God: for an example, read Psalms 3,13,18,43, and 103.  

2) Don't give up on your prayer requests: "Until now you have not asked [the Father] for anything in My name; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy may be full and complete." John 16:24

3) Be Thankful, praise God always & find good in every situation: The apostles were arrested twice in Jerusalem and ordered not to preach in Jesus' name.  The second time they faced the court, they were beaten.  Unfazed, they returned home, "rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name", and ready to preach some more (Acts 5:41).  Of course, the apostles were only following the example of our Lord, who had "for the joy set before him...endured the cross, scorning its shame" (Hebrews 12:2).

4) Be in Community with other believers and Godly friends: "...let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together..." Hebrews 10:19-25   Other Godly people can help remind us of the truth of who we are in Christ and remind us where our joy comes from, what truly matters for eternity versus what is temporary.

5) Give, Be Generous: "In everything I showed you [by example] that by working hard in this way you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed [and brings greater joy] to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 AMP

6) Have Faith & Do Not Fear:  "Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God." Philippians 4:6 AMP

7) Focus on Godly Things: (what are you reading?  what are you watching? It could be stealing your joy)  "Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]." Philippians 4:8 AMP

8) Share & Listen to Testimonies of Salvation: "So, after being supplied and sent on thier way by the church, they went through both Phoenicia and Samaria telling in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they brought great joy to all the believers."  Acts 15:3 AMP   (to watch and hear fantastic testimonies, click on the words I AM SECOND below)                                                                     I AM SECOND

9) Study God's Word: "The precepts of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes." Psalm 19:8 AMP   

"Engaging in evil is like sport to the fool [who refuses wisdom and chases sin],  But to a man of understanding [skillful and godly] wisdom brings joy." Proverbs 10:23 AMP  Godly wisdom is found through the study of His Word.

10) Be a peace maker & maintainer: "Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy." Proverbs 12:20 AMP

"Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God's favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God."  Matthew 5:9 AMP

11) Obey God: If you keep my commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.  I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing." John 15:10-11 AMP   

"If they hear and serve Him, They will end their days in prosperity and their years in pleasantness and joy. Job 36:11 AMP

12) Praise God!  

"But let all who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice, Let them ever sing for joy; Because You cover and shelter them,Let those who love Your name be joyful and exult in You." Psalm 5:11 AMP

What is your favorite way to create more joy in your life?  Please share it with us!

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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Increase the Peace- Part 2

In Part 1 of ‘Increase the Peace’ we acknowledged that true peace is from God and that peace comes from believing God and obeying God.  Scripture also teaches that we can have peace in the following ways:

Be Thankful in All Things

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)  I’ve often heard people say they find it difficult to believe that God would ask and expect them to be thankful in all circumstances— finding it hard to imagine He could expect thankfulness in ‘negative’ situations. 

Let’s look at a situation to see how we can be thankful even in the midst of life’s trials. A friend of mine was struggling to get along with co-workers who seemed to be intentionally trying to agitate her.  She felt that she was losing her peace in the midst of the situation. We discussed how she could be thankful in her situation. 

An example of something she could pray in that situation would be: “Lord, thank you for this job that helps my family to pay our bills. Thank you for these people who are trying to agitate me;  their actions make me aware of how much more I need you and to be filled with your love for others so I don’t respond in a way that would displease you and compromise my Christians witness. Thank you for using this situation to make me more appreciative of the humiliation you willingly endured for me on the cross, and for giving me an opportunity to model your love to those who I feel are persecuting me. If there is anything that I am doing that is the cause for their behavior, please reveal it to me so I can repent of it. Please give me the wisdom, discernment and strength to do only that which would reflect your heart in this matter. Amen.”

‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Your Mindset Can Bring Peace

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) God is telling us plainly in this verse not to focus our thoughts on the things of the world. He warns us not to think the way the unbelieving world thinks; not to desire what the unbelieving world says is important; and not to follow secular advice, which can be foolishness. Why?  Because God loves us, and He wants what is best for us. He knows that we will not have peace but death if our focus is on this world’s priorities instead of on God and His priorities. We need to set our minds on the things of the Spirit which alone can bring life and peace.  Here are some examples of how we can do this:

-  Pray

  • Read God’s Word and meditate upon it
  • Study God’s Word
  • Memorize scriptures 
  • Get involved in a mentoring relationship with a person who is further along in her walk with the Lord 
  • Join a small group Bible study
  • Listen to Christian music 
  • Read Christ-centered books/magazines
  • Ask God to replace your selfish, worldly desires with His perfect desires for your life

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

When the Spirit Leads You Will Have Peace

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

When our minds are focused on the things of God, the Spirit of God will lead you in peace.  Peace is an attribute of God’s character and is a fruit that God desires for every believer to have.  You can know the Spirit of God is leading you when you are at peace. The peace of God is not dependent on the outcome or circumstance, but is a character trait of God who lives in the heart of the one who believes in Him and has chosen to follow Him.  This peace transcends all understanding because it is always available regardless of what is happening in the moment.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

The peace of God ‘guards our hearts and mind’.  When we believe, obey, are thankful, and keep our minds focused on God, He will protect our hearts and minds from the kind of thinking that causes us to lose our peace because we will be confident that we can trust God no matter what.  We will be confident that God is in control, and He is faithful and to be trusted at all times. I have found that often restlessness and anxiety is caused by our desire to determine an outcome. What peace there is in knowing that if we obey God, we can always trust Him with the outcome! You can trust the Man who died for you— with everything that concerns you! If you want the peace that God longs to give you, stop striving, stop manipulating, and stop trying to control your life! Instead, relinquish control and put your full trust in God, Who is a wise and loving Father who always has your best interest in mind.  We may not always agree with His decisions because His ways are so much higher than our ways (Isaiah 55: 9), but we can choose to trust His power, His love, His wisdom, and His good and never changing nature.

Make the choice today to believe God, obey God, follow God and keep your mind fixed on the promises of God.  He is a wonderful counselor and the prince of peace Who will never leave you or forsake you. Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all (2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV).

Written by: Jamie Shaver

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