A Joy-Filled Life
When I was a little girl I would put on my best dress, grab my tiny purse and New Testament Bible, and slip out the door to the church across the street. I loved attending those evening services because it made me happy and it felt a little bit like I was on a secret mission. My pint-sized self didn’t know it, but God was already helping me cultivate a joy-filled life.
My favorite part was sitting near the front, singing songs and taking notes. Then at the end of the service I would carefully fold my slips of paper and tuck them away for safekeeping. They served as reminders that God loved me.
Of course I had no idea then what God had in store for me, but I attribute those quiet, long ago moments to who I am today–a joy-filled girl, still craving and thirsting for all He has for me.
Not On My Own
The joy I feel isn’t because of anything I’ve done. It’s 100% from my Heavenly Father. It’s a ‘feel it deep in your bones’ kind of joy that lasts a lifetime. It’s joy that lives within me because I gave Jesus my whole heart all those years ago.
I can emphatically say there is nothing quite like experiencing pure and authentic joy that invades your soul when you make a life changing decision. It brings a smile a mile wide to your face and it brings courage, confidence, hope and resilience to handle the twists and turns of life.
Joy Runs Deep
My joy runs deep because of the relationship I share with Christ and joy is a fruit of the Spirit.
Every single day when I rise I am thankful for another opportunity to live like Christ. Every single day I have the power to choose what that looks like. It’s personal and my joy helps me determine how I’m going to respond—to people, situations, and more. Joy is a deliberate act.
In Romans 15:13 NLT, the Bible tells us, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
As we walk with Christ here are three deliberate ways to cultivate a joy-filled life.
1) Choose Joy
Today and every day. It’s not just for when things are going well or when we’re happy. Hardships come and go, but instead of sinking into depression we can draw on God’s strength. His Word tells us that His joy is in us and that our joy will be complete. We must remember true joy transcends from living daily with Him. We are to keep our eyes focused on the One True God. John 15:11 NIV
2) Find Ways to Celebrate
Celebrate! When we do for others we are strengthened in spirit and filled with joy. Celebrating is an essential part of our spiritual life and He longs for us to practice like the Israelites did time and again. We are to honor God by allowing Him to work through our lives. Be a light for others. Be generous in spirit. Christ came so we could have abundant life and celebrating is a part of that life. Nehemiah 8:10 NIV
3) Make Connections Count
King David was a man after God’s own heart. He loved the people and Scripture tells us that we too will experience the joys and benefits of a life lived when we share companionship with God. Our Christian life will not be an easy one, but for those who choose to follow Him the rewards are eternal. Reach out to those who need encouragement. Build a community of Spirit. Shower your people with love, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, peace and more. Just like those notes I tucked away all those years ago, people need to know they’re loved. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
God is an amazing Father. His provisions are far more than we could ever imagine and He longs for us to experience everlasting joy. He is there to help us cultivate a joy-filled life.
“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” Psalm 32:11
How are you cultivating a joy-filled life?
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