3 Steps Towards a More Joy-filled Life

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

You know those moments of introspect, when you learn something disheartening about yourself? Those "oh crap! Am I really like that?" moments. Those are fun, right? Well, when I have those moments, I am often convicted of the fact that I really don't live with joy. I complain about things when they aren't perfect, I'm grumpy when things don't go as planned, and even when I'm having a good day, it's easy to just float through in my own little world.

I have been given so much! There is absolutely no excuse for grumpiness, lingering anger, or even just floating through.
For those of us who know Jesus, the only life we should be living is a joy-filled one.

But what if we don't feel joyful? How do we change that around? Today, I am sharing 3 steps that can help you start living a more joy-filled life.

Praise 

My mama has always told me that when we praise God, things tend to change in our hearts. When we are stuck in a rut and only thinking of ourselves (which is usually when we are joyless, coincidentally) if we decide to praise God instead, we will find much more peace and joy.
Praising God takes the focus off of us and puts it onto God and His goodness.

Service

Psalm 100:2 says "Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing!" And I think that this is an indication that serving the Lord can actually cause joy. Sure, serving can be hard work, but if we are serving for the right reasons (A.K.A. for God's glory and sharing His love with others), serving can actually become fun, beautiful, and joy-filled.
Serving God and serving others reminds us of how big the world is, how minuscule most of our problems are, and how good we really have it.


Choose

Though it is true that we cannot do anything good apart from God and His Spirit (John 15:5), the Bible also seems to indicate that joy (and all the other fruits of the Spirit) are, at least to some degree, a choice. 2 Peter 1:5-8 says it best:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
In my eyes, it is absolutely clear that we have a big part in cultivating godliness in our lives, and living in godliness is living by the fruit of the Spirit. So when we aren't feeling joyful, it is our responsibility to both ask God to provide joy and for us to choose to be joyful.
We often say that we cannot change how we feel. Sometimes, that's true. We don't always have the strength to snap our fingers and say, "Ok, I'm joyful now" (that'd be the coolest talent ever though!), but we do have the ability to say, "I will be thankful, I will praise God, and I will remember His goodness". That should jump-start our joy meter pretty well if we are truly focusing on doing those things.

With all the above said, living a more joy-filled life is not a formula. Sometimes, even in service to God, we struggle to find joy. Sometimes, we can't seem to bring ourselves to praise Him. But trust me, if you (we) live these things out consistently, and don't give up, our joy will increase. It may not be overwhelming, but it will happen. Praising God genuinely for all He's done and who He is, serving God with right intentions, and making up our minds to be more joyful will all work together to actually create that joy we've been longing for. God will give us joy if we live in godliness before Him and have our hearts turned in the right direction!

23 comments

  1. Choose! It's definitely key. Great reminders here today.

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  2. I'll admit I used to do a lot of community service but have been kind of slacking lately. It was easy in college because I felt I had to do it for my clubs and such. t really did bring me joy at the time. I need to find something that I enjoy in my new environment - at home ! I help out with Trevor's fire dept. at time. Maybe I'll get more involved with that, or at the school.

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    1. I really appreciate your thoughtful reply, Chelsea!
      Don't forget to give yourself a little grace. You are in a very busy season right now. But when you are able, I know you'll enjoy getting back into volunteering! :)

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  3. I definitely needed to read this today. I need to put more effort into being joyful, and focusing on God and less on myself

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  4. I definitely needed to read this today. I need to put more effort into being joyful, and focusing on God and less on myself

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    1. I'm so glad that it was a blessing to you, Marci! God often brings us to exactly what we need.

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  5. I'm definitely too grumpy sometimes. I try not to be but life gets to you! But I am also very blessed and try to remember that.

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    1. It's easy to slip into! Recognition is the first step though, so that's good!

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  6. Such a great post and a wonderful reminder that we need to find joy in our lives and praise God for our blessings! :)

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    1. Thanks, Cara! I appreciate your support, as always :)

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  7. Yes! These are all great ways! Especially being grateful and service. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you could relate!

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  8. This is something I really needed today! Praise God!

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    1. I'm so glad it was a blessing to you, LeighAnn!

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  9. I love that you add "choose" in this. Choosing is such an important part of being joy filled

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    1. I agree, Lauren! It's so important that we realize that we are responsible for our own actions!

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  10. My word for this year was joy but I feel like I put it on the backburner so choosing to be joyful probably hit me the most and something I need to work on!

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    1. I totally understand. It's never too late to start again! Just decide that you will do better from this moment on!

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  11. Man, this is absolutely something I've struggled with. I tend to have a bit of a negative or at least realistic outlook on things will my husband tends toward optimistic and joyful. I am always trying to make that choice and remind myself to stay positive. There's no reason I shouldn't live with joy! God has taken good care of me and my family. And for that I'm grateful. I just need to be more grateful more often :)

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    1. You are not alone, that's for sure!
      I am typically more of an optimist, but I find myself getting so down, impatient, and grumpy lately, and with that attitude, it's nearly impossible to choose joy. But it is so important that all of God's children choose joy :)

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  12. Three things that are so very important in our christian lifestyle that will led us to joy. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

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