Connect, Lead, Equip: 4 Secrets to Help You Live a Joyful Life
Life takes a toll. Work, family, friends, ministry, and the various priorities of life are important yet can be draining. How do we find joy again? Joy is not found in events or in good things happening instead of bad things. Joy cannot be dependent on how successful our lives or ministries appear. Those are great things, but not things meant to be the center of happiness. Joy is the confident expectation that God will act to deliver when trouble comes. Below are some steps to live joyful days.
Ways to Live Joyfully:
- Keep a clean connection –
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful,” (John 15:2, NIV).
Pruning is cutting away what isn’t necessary. It is getting rid of what hinders growth and fruitfulness. To experience joy, we need to prune our lives of anything that blocks the nourishing flow of Christs’ life within us. Sin is the general category that describes spiritual blockage.
Sin is relational blockage with God. The spiritual oxygen our soul needs doesn’t get delivered. We get weak and suffer. We feel it in our experience of life. The experience of joy requires a clean connection.
- Make the choice to rejoice –
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4, ESV).
Remember, joy is an attitude. We choose our attitudes. That’s why joy can be commanded – it’s a mindset. And we choose joy when we think about all the blessings of our relationship to Christ. We must consider forgiveness, God’s powerful presence working on our behalf, His comfort, His peace, His never-ending love. What you think about will powerfully impact how you feel about things. The attitude of joy is related to what your internal mental process is telling you about life, people, and events. If the negative checklist dominates, if you see life as always leaving you short, then you will have a hard time experiencing joy. Focus on the fullness you have from God in spite of negative things in your life.
Here’s a choice to rejoice mindset:
“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it,” (Psalm 118:24, KJV).
When I start a new day, if I expect lousy, prepare for lousy, and think lousy, guess what? There is a strong likelihood I will have a lousy day. Instead, make the choice to rejoice!
- Think ahead –
This relates back to understanding what we have in Jesus Christ. One of the reasons we can experience joy is because we have confidence that God has a terrific destiny reserved for us. As bad as it gets here, God has a greater store of treasure waiting for us to enjoy for all eternity. The Bible often refers to that treasure as “our inheritance.” Everything God the Father gives to Jesus the Son, He gives to us too, because we are part of His family.
So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though now it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while… and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”
We need to live today in light of tomorrow.
For us to keep life in proper perspective means we need to think ahead to what God has planned for us and promised to us. It doesn’t deny today’s difficult reality, but it does give us hope and confidence that in the end it will all turn out all right.
- Join the celebration –
If you want to pursue joy in your life, you need to practice celebration. The Bible gives us continual pictures of joyous, festive, celebrations. They involved times of eating, singing, dancing. Spiritual celebration means doing those things while reflecting on the wonderful God who has given us such wonderful gifts.
In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah there is a description of one of these times of celebration. It came as a result of the people of God being renewed in their walk with Him. They had drifted away and hadn’t remained in close connection. God had brought them back and they were filled with joy.
God wants you to be a joyful person and the Holy Spirit is waiting to produce joy in you. But you must take responsibility for your joy. Start today by being sure you have connected to the source of joy – Jesus Christ.