Hi Friends, Today I have been penning a magazine article on how to grow joy! Here is a snippet of it.
I longed for joy. The kind you see in women’s eyes that shine. Their cheeks glow and a fountain of calmness bubbles out filled with joy. They are powered up by an internal force as they invite and allow Christ to reign within, to make a difference with their life.
I had begged God for years for my own joy in this land of the living. When I was in my mid 40’s I had told God I was sick and tired of living out the first part of John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV). I craved the full life, the abundant life. Peace. Passion. Purpose. But my life was more like a war zone. And my heart had bullet holes to prove it. I hated my life. Yet I hated death more so. Within three years I had seen death snatch and steal two lives. First, my father and then my youngest brother dead to heart attacks. Plus my secret of the abusive marriage grew.
When my brother died I asked the Lord if that were me in the casket, what would people believe about my life? What was my life legacy? My answer grieved me and my heart split from the duplicity. People would believe two things. And both were lies.
And within 40 days I became parent less, spouse-less, homeless, and childless since the teens chose to move with their father.
Next, I had to walk through the door ways of Friend of the Court, Bankruptcy Court (women in abuse get this-$abuse) and Divorce Court. What a mess!
Joy? Not yet. I knew I had to grow in the attitude of giving thanks. I was weak there. I needed to purposefully give thanks.
So I began.
In my little condo nest I gave thanks. I wrote thanks. I spoke thanks. When I saw my children, I thanked God I could see them, even if it was for one hour. (OH, how I missed them and love them.)
I thanked God when each month’s condo rent was paid.
I thanked God I was no longer ignored.
I thanked God I could walk on trails.
I thanked God I had a little business, enough to float me.
I thanked God there was peace in the condo.
I thanked God I could laugh.
And I kept on giving thanks…to grow joy.
Three points to grow joy in your life.
- Obedience is key. In order to obey the Word, we need to know the Word so we can apply the Word. But, the key to transformational living is to walk the Word out. That grows joy. For example:
++Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV). Can God work out your pain and mine for good? And to bring joy from it? Indeed.
++“Rejoice always, “ (1 Thessalonians 5:16, NIV). Even in the midst of pain? The Word says, rejoice!
++“ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2-3, NIV) Count it all joy, friends. We all face heart ache. But it is up to each of us to decide. Will be obey what God says or not?
You are responsible if you grow in joy. If you are waiting for circumstances to change or others to fill you, you could be waiting all of your life. So what will it be for you? Jesus. Obedience. You?
What do you think? Was this helpful for you to begin to step to grow joy?