I would consider myself a positive person, especially as of lately. It seems that the more I worship and pray, the more joy and peace I gain. It really is an easy equation, God + worship + prayer + faith= peace, and joy. To have joy in life, you must be full of the power of God and you must choose to have joy every day.
I have definitely had my share of disappointing and harsh realities over the last couple of months. Like everyone else, there has been rough times and easier times, but in the midst of it all, I choose joy.
Nothing Can Be Against Me
You and I both have reasons to have joy because of Jesus Christ. Jesus gives you the supernatural ability to look at the things that want to drag you down and smile at them. But how do you practically choose joy? How do you have peace in your heart when everything seems to be crashing down?
First, it is important that you understand that God is good ALL the time and that He is planning EVERYTHING out for your good. Roman 8:28 “ All things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”. Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. You have to make the decision everyday that absolutely NOTHING can be against you. Because God is on your side, darkness cannot keep you down. “ weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” Psalm 30:5.
Now that you believe that God is for you and that pain is temporary, what do you do next? You must pick up your cross every single day. Just like you choose to live for God each day, you need to choose joy each day. Choose joy especially when you are dealing with a storm. Choose joy and peace rather than anger and pain, after a while it becomes easier to do the former.
How To Have Joy
Pray Without Ceasing
I cannot even begin to explain the power of declaring peace and happiness over your life through prayer. There is a reason why the bible tells us to pray without ceasing, take it literally! Pray every day, all day. “ whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith “ Matthew 21:22. God hears your pain and your cries, He listens as you ask Him for joy and happiness. The Lord will give you joy abundantly!
Worship is absolutely one of the best ways to call down heaven on earth. The bible tells us to worship in good times and in bad times. You need to worship! If you are a singer, sing, if you are a dancer, dance. If you are terrible at both, do both anyways. Blast some Hillsong (favorite band) and scream out the top of your lungs when nobody is home (I may or may not have done this before). Listen to worship music on your way to school, to work, while you are cooking. Allow yourself to get in the presence of the Lord and watch him transform the atmosphere.
I have written this whole post about how to be joyful as if you aren’t allowed to feel pain, but pain will come. The point is not to that you aren’t allowed to have pain or that it is unnatural to have pain. “ In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33), you will have pain, you will have strife, you will cry, but God tells us “ But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16:33.
You are allowed to have pain, it is natural. Fortunately you don’t have to be burdened by pain every day when God has commanded you to give Him your burden. Cry out to the Lord and allow Him to heal your heart. Joy and peace from the Lord will never cease to amaze you; it is stronger than anything I have ever experienced. I would not be where I am today if I did not believe that God had my back.
Yes I cried, but I cried knowing that God would wipe away my tears and renew me. I knew that staying in my dark place was a method that the devil used against me, so I chose to not let the enemy win. Today is the day that you do the same, look at those things that are pushing you down and smile right back at them. Choose peace, choose joy.