Let Joy Be Your Compass

Do you remember a time in your life when you had pure joy? Maybe that time is now…maybe it’s not. But at least one point in all of our lives we can say we’ve experienced true and pure joy. Think about it for a minute. Go back to that time if that time isn’t now. How did it feel? Is it something you want to experience again?

I’d hope so!

Well, you can. Joy isn’t lost. No matter your current situation…how dire things seems. You can get back to that place of pure joy. It will take some work on your part, some surrendering, letting go. But isn’t it worth it?

Here are 4 simple steps to regain joy in your life.

1 – Believe God wants you to have joy.

God is a God of love. He wants nothing but good for you. And joy is good. But you have to believe this truth. You have to walk around with your head held high knowing that the Creator of the entire universe and everything in it values you above anything else and He cares that you have joy in your life. You’re that special.

2 – Ask God for joy.

There’s nothing wrong with asking God to give you joy. And there’s nothing wrong with asking others to pray for you in the same way. God wants us to come to Him with our desires and wants. And joy in our lives is just as big as healing of a disease. Don’t belittle it! Put it on your prayer list! He’s listening. Just ask!

3 – Go near to God.

Sometimes, just seeking His presence and sitting quietly before Him will do more for your soul than you can imagine! Develop a daily meditation practice with your Father. Spend this time in silence just sitting and listening and letting Him do a work on your heart and soul! It will do wonders for your joy! It can be a minute, it can be 2, 5 or 30. The choice is yours! But just do it! Start small and work yourself up. Sit quietly with God, breath deeply…breath in His presence and breath out negative thoughts and feelings. Just a minute of this practice will rejuvenate you, energize you, and bring back your joy!

4 – Set your mind on things that bring you joy.

Ok, and this is a biggie! One of my most favorite sayings recently is “what’s kinking your hose?” (Think of a garden hose that’s free flowing water, then one that gets kinked… when you’re kinked, you can’t flow life, creativity, joy…anything!) I was at a wellness conference and one of the speakers was talking about things that kink our hose, steal our joy and make us a big old mess! So, evaluate. What is linking your hose and remove it from your life! Also evaluate, what unkinks your hose and focus on those things! The things that allow your hose to flow free are the things that will bring you joy. The things that kink your hose are the things that will suck your joy. So spend some time asking God to show you the kink culprits and how to remove them. Then ask Him to show you those things that foster passion, creativity, joy, life and how you can put more of that in your life.

And when you start doing these 4 simple things, get ready for joy overload! Also get ready to make a difference in this world! Because when you are living this way, you will be living out the passion and purpose God has placed in your heart and you’ll be making a tremendous difference in your world!

Don’t Get Distracted

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

There are so many things in the world competing for our attention. But we need to focus on God’s plans and priorities for our life. We need to take some time to ask God what He wants us focused on at this season of our life. Someone else’s priorities aren’t our priorities. They may look good, but if they aren’t what God is calling us to, we aren’t going to be fulfilled. So take some tome, listen to God and follow His path… His path for You will lead you to fullness of joy. And doesn’t that sound fabulous?

What do you need to say no to?

The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank… But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. ~ Daniel 1:5, 8

Daniel was a prisoner in a foreign land and was pretty much at the control of the king. But Daniel knew what was best for him and his body. He chose to follow what God was telling him to do vs. this earthly king that could kill him at a moments notice. And, let’s face it, the king’s food sounds pretty darn yummy compared to what Daniel was choosing to eat. But, he knew that God was telling him “this” not “that” is what will be the best fuel for your body, make you healthy, and help you be your best you. So Daniel said no to the king and yes to God.

It’s hard to say no, even when we know it’s the best thing for us. But sometimes we have to say no so we can say yes! Say no to the unhealthy lifestyle we currently live so we can start feeling better, living better and rid ourselves of unnecessary illness. Say no to Starbucks or eating out everyday so we can buy healthier nutrition for us and our family. Say no to overworking so we can yes to more time with our family. Say no to indulgences and wants so we can yes to a better quality of life with our family. There are many possibilities.

So today, I challenge you to ask yourself…what do you need to say NO to, so you can say YES to something better!

Not Measuring Up?

Ephesians 4:17 – 5:5 lays out some dos and don’ts for those of us who are believers.  And wow, when you read this list, you may be thinking… well I did that today, hmmm…. I did that one too, oh, I didn’t do that one… nope, did that one. EEEEK!!!

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So what does that mean? Are you a failure? Are you a bad Christian? Are you even a believer at all if this list details how a believer lives?

It’s so easy for us to beat ourselves up when we read Scripture and begin measuring ourselves. But, here’s the thing. We are are measuring ourselves against Jesus.  Do you hear that?  JESUS! The only perfect human to ever walk the earth. He doesn’t want us measure ourselves and beat ourselves up when we don’t measure up to Him.  He just gave us the example to strive for. To long for. And when we fail, we talk to Him, ask for forgiveness when needed and keep on trying!  Because I have news for you… you will NOT be perfect this side of Heaven.  Until you take your last breath on this earth and are welcomed into the arms of Jesus, you will make mistakes. It isn’t an excuse to not worry about it. It doesn’t give you a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. But it does give you grace… to turn back to your Heavenly Father who is seeking you, pursuing you, chasing you and ask Him to forgive your failures and help you do better. And guess what? He will!

So stop beating yourself up for being human. He made you human and He loves you for who you are!  He just wants you to live out the purpose He’s placed on your life, open the lines of communication (pray), learn from Him (read your Bible), learn from others (Christian community) and face each day seeking Him!  Seems simple, right?

That’s #MyThoughtForToday
What’s yours?
#AllLoveNoHate