Do you start your day with a spring in your step and a happy expression on your face?
Maybe you find yourself plodding through the day with a fake smile awkwardly affixed to cover what you’re really feeling?
No matter where you are on the spectrum, I sure you want to know…
How to Put More Joy in Your Day
Each week here at An Extraordinary Day we have JoyDay! Over the past four years (Yes… I just celebrated my 4th blog anniversary.) I’ve chatted with you about joy and living a joy-filled life. But, what I haven’t done is put some of those thoughts together in one spot so that we would have an easy reference when we need it.
Before we dive in, I want to make one thing perfectly clear… Real. True. Joy. has only one source. It’s the Lord.
We often and easily confuse happiness with joy.
Happiness is a feeling. And it’s usually a result of pleasurable experiences or thoughts.
Joy, on the other hand, is not dependent upon experiences. And… what’s remarkable about joy, is that we can have overwhelming overflowing joy in the midst of some really difficult times. Joy really can buoy us through the challenges of life.
That brings us to the question…
How can we put more joy in our day?
1. We need to center ourselves on God.
You will show me the path that leads to life;
your presence fills me with joy
and brings me pleasure forever.
When we make Him our focus and take His guidance and direction for our lives, every part of our day is filled with God’s presence. The more we have of Him, the more our lives are underpinned with joy. And though joy may not be a happy feeling, there’s no doubt that God designed us to experience a fulfillment that is pleasurable when we are in His presence.
2. We must be proactive to live a life of Joy.
The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy.
I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.
We need to focus on the Lord and have a fighting posture to keep our joy. We need to be alert to temptation and the traps to falling into sin. And when we have sinned (and we will)… we need to confess it… and do all we can, not to repeat it.
Whatever keeps you from living a holy life and having an intimate relationship with the Lord needs to be recognized and dealt with. Pride, shame, guilt, and unforgiveness are just a few that prevent us from living life to the full. To gloss over this area will definitely open the door for satan to walk right in to steal, kill, and destroy you and your joy.
3. We need to meditate on God’s Word… day and night.
And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed.
Everything we need for life and living a godly life is in the Bible.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
It makes it imperative that we spend time reading and memorizing God’s Word so that we are able to know the Truth, to think His thoughts, and to make right choices. But, even more… it’s the greatest connection we have to our holy and loving Father. If we think of the Bible as God’s love letter to us, we’ll treasure it and read and re-read it, not only for Truth but for the intimacy it gives us with God. When we have that intimacy… we have joy.
4. We need to pray and spend time with God.
Our prayer time is when we get to experience real intimacy with God. It’s because of these intimate talks with our Abba Father that joy is released into our lives.
Several months ago I wrote a series on prayer. There I shared about this special time we need to make in our lives: How to Pray in a Way that Matters.
5. We need to pay attention to our thoughts and kick that stinkin’ thinkin’ to the curb.
One of the first ways I can lose my joy is with my thoughts. I might decide that I don’t feel well, that things aren’t going my way and I can be upset about it, I can think I’m unwanted or unnecessary or more notably… I think about my circumstances and give in to those negative thoughts and have a pity party.
Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.
This is another area where we need to be proactive. Choosing to start our days in praise to God is imperative and then deciding each day to believe it will be a good day. Purposely thinking well of those we rub shoulders with throughout the day and choosing to see the good in the not-so-good is important. Scripture tells us to fill our minds with the good, the true, the pure, and the lovely.
If this is an area in which you struggle you might want to visit this post: How to Win the Mind Battle. Whatever you do… don’t let stinkin’ thinkin’ rob you of your joy.
6. We need to spend time with people who love God and follow Him wholeheartedly.
Although we do need to make sure we plan a good amount of time (more than 15 minutes) in solitude for worship, prayer, and scripture reading, we also need the fellowship of fellow believers.
We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer.
Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who lives hundreds of miles from me. When I lived near her, meals and walks in the park and coffee at Panera were woven with talks and tears and prayers. Not long ago she sent me an email with just a few heart thoughts. I, in turn, jumped in the car and drove to a beautiful spot in my area, parked, and got on the phone with her. She was walking through the scare of illness. During times like that, we need our friends to listen to our heart’s cries, to speak words of encouragement, and maybe even most… to speak truth. We need to remind each other of God’s truth, scriptures we’ve memorized, scriptures that we’ve lived out.
Last week, another friend suggested we meet at a local coffee shop after a meeting. We left feeling like it was something we each needed. We were able to encourage each other and help each other sort through some decisions. No, we didn’t tell each other what to do. But, as we shared and talked and processed those things heavy on our hearts, answers came.
Don’t ever try to go it alone. God desires for us to live in community, as believers. Solitude is good for a season… but our joy cups overflow as we build each other up in the goodness of the Lord.
7. We need to serve others and give generously.
After serving children on Sunday mornings, I used to say to the others I served with that I just got my high for the day (or week). Though we were tired… we were energized. Studies have shown that people who serve others get a release of endorphins which induces a feeling of well-being. Additionally, giving has also been linked to the release of the hormone, oxytocin, that induces feelings of warmth, euphoria, and connection to others.
Even the Son of Man did not come for people to serve him.
He came to serve others and to give his life to save many people.
We have been designed to serve others. When we do what we are created to do we are uniquely connected to the heart of God and filled with joy.
These are just seven ways to fill our hearts with joy. I’m sure there are more, but in my experience, these have helped me the most. I must be honest… as much as I know what to do… lately I haven’t been doing a good job of doing these things. That’s why I took the time to share these seven. I needed the reminder myself. I needed to “speak” truth not only to you… but to me. If you’re wondering which of these to focus on first and foremost… it’s this… focusing on God and spending time with Him in the Word and in prayer… especially at the beginning of the day. If I falter here… my day falters.
There is one more thing we can do to put joy in our hearts… it’s giving thanks. That’s something you can do daily as part of your prayer time, additionally, we give thanks here in community each week for JoyDay!
It’s Joy Day!
Let’s begin the week in gratitude and fill up our hearts with joy.
Please join me in thinking back over the past week and counting seven things for which you are thankful. Because God’s word tells us that we are to give thanks in all things we need to include a bit of the unpleasant as well. It’s an amazing exercise.
The best part of doing this….we get JOY! And I just know you need some joy. [wink]
Thank you God for…
- helping me push through and get a project done to free up my mind for the weekend.
- helping me find the perfect items for a photo shoot in less than an hour.
- speaking into my heart during a special corporate worship and prayer time.
- reminding me that the “chains have been broken!”
- Your healing.
- Your plans and provision for next month.
- Your grace….
Now…it’s YOUR turn!
List your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below. You’ll be glad you did.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.
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