truejoy

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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3 Essential Ways to Find True Joy

I have recognized over the past week that when I see the word “SALE!’ attached to something I want, I am extremely tempted to be self-indulgent. Following in the footsteps of my Mom, I’m the shopper who is rarely if ever tempted to buy anything that is full price, but if you put the ‘sale’ ticket on it, I’ve found it can be difficult (sometimes it seems almost ‘impossible’!) for me to resist. Whether I need it or not. Maybe that’s not your issue, but my guess is that you too often find yourself being self-indulgent rather than self-controlled.

We live in a culture that promotes and rewards self-indulgence: America’s motto for today seems to be, “If it feels good, do it! And don’t judge me for anything I do!” According to Webster’s dictionary, to indulge means, “to yield to the gratification or practice of habit without restraint or control”. Virtually every advertisement entices us to indulge ourselves, to satisfy our every sensual urge. Obesity statistics and bulging waistlines reveal that we indulge in food. Most Americans’ lives are consumed and satiated with sports, TV, movies, Facebook,Youtube, Instagram and a myriad of other forms of entertainment that ‘feed our flesh’. The indebtedness of the vast majority of Americans and their families is indicative that we are a culture that indulges ourselves with ‘more and better’ things that we falsely think will enhance our lives. Our culture’s addiction to alcohol and illegal as well as prescription drugs is also symptomatic of our desire to avoid any kind of pain and indulge in whatever seems to give us pleasure—even if the pleasure is momentary. The whole sexual ‘revolution’– including the increasing ‘normalization’ of promiscuity, adultery, homosexual sex, bi-sexual sex, and now each person supposedly ‘choosing’ the sex he or she ‘feels’ they should be (or to be no sex at all)— also testifies to our nation’s grave sin of self-indulgence.

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We are a culture consumed with pursuing whatever we ‘feel’ will make us happy, and we resent anyone trying to restrain us from indulging in what we want, when we want it. At the heart of this are three erroneous and deceptive assumptions:  (1) that life is all about me (2) that my happiness is the ultimate goal in life (3) that happiness comes from yielding to my selfish desires.

Thankfully, God’s Word gives us the truth that can set us free from these gross deceptions, and it instructs us in righteous living so we can experience the truly joyous life God longs for us to have!

1) We will have true joy when we comprehend the reality that we were not put on the earth for our pleasure but we were created for the glory and pleasure of Almighty God.

…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:7 Isaiah 43:7 ESV

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11 KJV

2) We will have true joy when we seek to accomplish the goals that God has entrusted to us rather than seeking temporary, fleeting ‘happiness’ through gratifying our selfish desires.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life. Ephesians 2:10 Berean Study Bible

We will have true joy– when we know God and experience intimate fellowship with Him.

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3 ESV

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1st Corinthians 1:9 ESV

We will have true joy when we learn to fear Him (revere and worship Him) and to follow the commandments that He gave to us for our good and for the glory of His Name.

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV

We will have true joy as we are conformed to His holy image, which can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in all those who believe in and trust in Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29 ESV

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy. 1st Peter 1:14-16 ESV

We will have true joy when we serve as ambassadors for Christ who preach the good news of the gospel and go and make disciples.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. 2nd Corinthians 5:17-20a ESV

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20 ESV

While we are on this earth, we are to remember that we are merely sojourners here so we will keep our focus upon God and the eternal purpose and works that He has entrusted to us that lead to true joy, not upon the temporary, fleeting pleasures of this world.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 1st Peter 2:11 ESV

 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work]. Hebrews 12:2 AMP

…as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2nd Corinthians 4:8 ESV

3) We will have true joy– as well as peace, abundant and eternal life– when we live in accordance with God’s will, which is characterized by self-control and abstaining from rather than indulging in the selfish desires of our flesh.

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?  Romans 6:16 ESV

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8 ESV

…for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13

The true joy that every soul longs to have is found in a relationship with and in the Presence of our Holy God–Who promises to make Himself known to all who seek after Him (Jeremiah 29:13)!

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 ESV

If you are not experiencing the joyous life God created you to have, ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of any area in your life where you are seeking to satisfy your selfish desires rather than to satisfy God’s perfect desires for your life.

Lord, thank You for Your Word which is truth, and for loving me so much that You made it possible for me to experience a truly joyous, abundant life here on earth, as well as giving me the assurance of an eternity in Your glorious Presence! Keep my eyes fixed upon You, Your desires, and eternity, and may my desire always and only be to please and glorify You!

Written by Julie Van Gorp

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?