One thing I’ve decided to focus on this year is JOY. I want to be a joyful person and I want to help others be joyful too. I’ve come to realize that joy can be quite the struggle! Some days I just don’t feel joyful… thankfully, joy isn’t supposed to be just a feeling – it’s a decision. Some days we have to fight in order to choose joy. Here are 5 simple ways:
1. Sing! I was working at a summer camp last week and I learned some things from my fellow workers. The happiest girls would often break out into song. Their joy was very catching. Joyful people sing to the Lord. “Sing unto the Lord…” Isaiah 12:5
2. Focus on the Good. I’ve heard of all kinds of ways to do this from gratitude journals, to joy lists – there are so many ideas out there. But it all comes down to this: we must be grateful for what we have and focus on our blessings. By doing so we will be choosing joy! “Whatsoever things… are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report…think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
3. Smile. Just the act of smiling is a simple way to choose joy. We may not “feel” like smiling but should do it anyway. It will help put us in a joyful mood. “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance…” Proverbs 15:13
4. Surround yourself with joyful people. This is so key! We become like the people we hang around. Attitudes are contagious… and that includes joy! We must never exclude others on purpose, but we can certainly choose with whom we spend the bulk of our time. “Rejoice with them that do rejoice…” Romans 12:15
5. Talk about joyful things. Forget the bad news, the latest gossip, and all the usual worries and uncertainties. We naturally seem to talk about negative things. Imagine if we started talking about our blessings, answered prayers, and truths we’ve learned from God’s Word. What a difference it would make! “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth; and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” Proverbs 15:23
Those are just 5 simple ways to fight for joy. There are many more ways but we must always remember to ask the Lord for joy.