Looking around society there is so much angst and things to be unhappy about. The political climate in America is not a funny joke, the church has lost it’s power; families are splitting at higher rates and the racism and hatred of one to another seems to be increasing at an all time high. Some may ask what is going on and others how to fix it; while still others get mad and angry. As such keeping your joy must be a priority. There are fail-proof ways to keep your joy that are rather simple.
It’s been said that joy simply put is Jesus Others You so by putting this in motion you will keep your joy from season to season without fail.
1. Forgive. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to genuinely do and not doing it only breeds all things that steal your joy. In Acts 3:19 we are told to ‘repent and seek forgiveness, so that times of refreshing may come.’ (NIV) Within this the identifying factor is what takes place after repenting and forgiving. It’s the refreshing may come. By living in forgiveness not only will you continually be refreshed you will also be operating at a level it keeps the door shut to the ploys of the enemy. Bottom line if you want to keep your joy start forgiving.
2. Take Every Thought Captive. The moment you think on things you need not think on; is the moment that the enemy takes over. It’s something as simple as worry, doubt, dread, or even lustful thoughts that can ruin a moment, a day; a year or even your life. The Word gives us instructions for how to train our minds and in fact we are told to ‘renew our minds’ which is a clue that it obviously can be done. Proverbs 23:7 tells us ‘For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.’ It’s hard to have and keep your joy if you are thinking only on the things that steal it!
3. Tame your Tongue. This one is probably the most challenging; especially when social media is so readily available to share all your opinions that you ultimately may regret later. Psalm 34:13 tells us essentially how to speak in these simple words: “Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.” (NIV) If only our politicians could grasp this concept! The words you speak will bring either life to death to you and those around you so make sure you take the steps to keep your joy by speaking life.
4. Surround Yourself with the Right People. The people you surround yourself makes all the difference. If you want to get where God wants you to be; then most likely it will require a change. See; it’s hard to go and grow in the Lord when surrounded by people going nowhere. It’s said no more clear than this: “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” (Pro 13:20) If you want joy go with the company that has it and will do anything to keep it!
5. Say Bye to Bitterness. Bitterness is spiritual poison that rots the bones. No wonder why Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel didn’t get pregnant until after she dealt with her bitterness! Her bones were rotting! Bitterness breeds and will only leave you empty; and most likely alone. Let it go and be restored in joy. If you aren’t the bitter one but those around you are; then ask yourself why you accept less than what you are worth and get your joy!
6. Remove Distractions. Life is full of distractions. Sports, television, social media, politics; can all become distractions if you aren’t careful. If you truly look at every minute of your day where are they going. You only have 1440 of them to spend and if they are going to distractions most likely they are sucking your joy right with them. Don’t let the distractions become your priority as your relationship with Christ will suffer as a result. Remove the distractions and take authority of your time and life and you will be amazed to how much you can live.
7. No more Negativity. There is enough to be negative about in life and the moment you accept it; you will feel it. Negativity is known to breed into the mind and hence the emotions. Negative people speak and do negative things. Think about that; how many happy people purposely go do negative things and how many negative people find enjoyment in positive things? When you remove the negative you may be left with a gap so ask the Lord to fill you with joy; overflowing with abundance. Life is too short to follow and accept anything negative as it’s an open door for the enemy to wreck havoc in all the other areas of your life.
In the end; whether or not you have joy is based upon the choices you make. There will always be an opportunity to not be joyful; but only if you allow it. As you become aware of what and who in your life brings what then you will be in a better position to close or open those doors. It’s truly up to you though and it starts with a focus on Jesus Others You.
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