How to Make Joy a Daily Habit

How to Make Joy a Daily Habit

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

We are being encouraged to push on despite what is happening around us. We are told that it is in pushing on that we can create our next happy moment. But the truth is, the more we push, the more we become depressed. Chasing happiness is a recipe for disaster.

 

We need to learn how to make joy a daily habit. Why? God wants us to be joyful. Not that being happy is a bad thing, but when we have joy, we have internal satisfaction. It means that you can remain positive in the midst of a storm.

 

It is impossible for one to be happy when they are going through trials. External circumstances will not allow you to as they will keep changing. But it is possible to have joy.

 

So how do we combat stress with joy daily?

 

Choose What to Believe

Stress is readily available in today’s world. Watch television, read the news or turn on the radio and you will see or hear one bad report after another. It is easy to feel stressed.

 

That is why we need to be intentional about making joy our daily habit. And we can do that by choosing what to believe.

 

See, your circumstance doesn’t determine whether you will walk with joy or be stressed. It is your thoughts about the circumstance that will make your situation stressful. If you think being in a crowded place will stress you, you are going to be stressed. Being around many people isn’t bad, but the thought of it makes the whole experience stressful.

 

Paul rejoiced even though he was in jail (Philippians 4:4-8). He encouraged others to rejoice while he was in prison. I don’t think we would say the same thing if we were in his shoes. But Paul saw being in jail as an opportunity to live for Christ, so he wasn’t stressed about it but rejoiced.

 

Abide in Christ

Every single day, make it a habit to abide in Christ.

 

Abiding means to continue.

 

We should make it a point to continue being in close union with Jesus. Not only when it best suits us but even when we don’t feel like it. 

 

When we abide in Christ, he promises to make our joy complete. (John 15:10-11)

 

Serve Others

Serving others does not mean that you have to become a pastor evangelist or work in a church.  You can serve others through your social media platforms by just writing words of encouragement to your friends and followers.

 

When we serve others daily, we become joyful. Seeing others overcome the issues they are facing because we stood by them fills us with joy. A small act of kindness goes a long way.

 

Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

 

It is not dependent on outside circumstances.

 

We can be joyful even when all odds are against us.  But for that to happen, we need to make joy a daily habit by serving others,  abiding in Christ, and most of all, choosing our thoughts carefully.

Finding Contentment in a Discontented World

Finding Contentment in a Discontented World

The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 19:23 (NIV)

Money doesn’t buy contentment, but neither does poverty provide it.

 

Many of us believe that as long as we have enough, we will be content with life. But how many of us know that the human heart is never satisfied? The more we acquire stuff, the more we want. It is never enough.

 

So how is contentment attained? How do we find contentment?

 

By Knowing Christ

Earning a living and raising a beautiful family are great things to do. But they’ll never bring contentment in our hearts.

 

Jesus is our only source of contentment. Do you know why?

 

  • He loves us unconditionally

Although he knows our flaws, Jesus loves us unconditionally. He will never reject you, even when you mess up.

 

  • He is Our Source of Strength

Paul learned how to remain content in every situation. This came about when Paul realized that he could do all things through Christ, who strengthens him.

 

Like Paul, we can also find contentment through Christ, who strengthens us (Philippians 4:12-13).

 

  • Without Him, we can do Nothing

Jesus said that without him, we can do nothing.

 

It means that even though we work hard and try to achieve success according to the world standards, it is only through Jesus that we can be successful.

 

We may attain all the material wealth that we want, but without Jesus, we will always be discontented in our hearts. Everything we will be striving for will be outside God’s will.

 

By Obeying and Serving God

 

In Job 36:11, we are told that it is by obeying God that we will be contented and prosperous in life.

 

So let us make it a habit to obey God and serve him faithfully. It will not be easy, and God may ask you to do things that don’t seem to be ‘cool’ according to the world standard, but we will be content in our hearts.

 

By Trusting God with all your Heart

It is easy to be anxious about life, especially in a world where we are made to believe that being successful means having a posh car, a big house, rich friends, and many followers on social media.

 

Even believers are getting carried away by the world’s definition of success.

 

We don’t find contentment in the things of the world. We find it God. That is why we need to place our trust in God. Follow his lead and trust the process that he is taking you through.

 

Doing this will not only open doors of blessings in your life, but it will also cause you to find contentment in your life.

 

It could be that you have bought into the lie that contentment comes from having a lot of money, a big car, and a great family. Well, while all those things are good, they will never fill up the void in your heart.

 

People will disappoint you, material wealth will come and go, but only God will remain faithful to you.

 

If you want to be content in life, start with God. Focus on Jesus and allow him to take charge of your life.

Hungry? Feed on the Word of God.

Hungry? Feed on the Word of God.

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Joshua 1:8

 

What do you do when you want to become strong physically?  You eat a balanced diet, take water, and do other things like exercise, right?  The same is true about your spiritual life.  If you want to be strong in your spiritual walk, you will have to feed your spirit with spiritual food, which is God’s word.

 

The Bible tells us that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.  This means that spiritual food, which is God’s word, is more important to us as humans than our daily bread.  It doesn’t mean that you should starve yourself. No God expects you to take good care of your body because it is his temple and the Holy Spirit dwells in it.

 

For a teacher to teach his students effectively, he needs to be trained as a teacher. In the same way, for you to be on fire for God and operate in the way he wants you to, you need to be strong in the spirit and well-trained in spiritual matters.  That is why you need to spend quality time in the word, to meditate on it day and night and not turn from it to the left or right.

 

Just so we’re clear, when you start feeding on the Word of God, it doesn’t mean that things will start working out automatically. Or that you will begin to see the changes immediately.  It will take time for you to move from a place of carnality to being spiritually-minded.  So when you do not see any evidence of change on the outside, you should not be quick to give up. Keep on feeding the word of God because it begins by transforming your mind and your heart.

 

Ignite a flame for Christ in your life by studying scripture that talks about Jesus and his love for you.  Understanding God’s unconditional love causes man to love him too and want to know him more. The more time you spend in the word, the more you get to know who God is and the deeper your desire will be to know him even more.

 

Action:

As you come up with your routine, set aside time during which you should spend reading the word of God.  You don’t have to copy someone else’s routine. You can start by reading a verse a day or follow a theme for a month before you go to the next theme. There are so many devotionals online that you can use as guidance to help you during your devotional time so that you can be able to know what to read and when to read.

 

Remember not to be too uptight but allow the Holy Spirit to help you read the right scripture and open your mind to understand the word of God on a deeper level.

 

Tips on Praying without Ceasing

Tips on Praying without Ceasing

Jeremiah 21:12

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

One of the best moments in life is when you spend time with loved ones, and you get to talk for hours, right. Yes, some of us are introverts, but we also enjoy having good conversations with our loved ones from time to time. Through healthy communication, we can build relationships that last and become close to God.

 

Just the way you enjoy spending time with loved ones is the way you need to enjoy prayer. When we pray, we are merely talking to God, pouring our hearts and listening to him as he guides us in how we should go.

 

Prayer changes situations, and it also changes us. It brings heaven down, and through it, men and women of God can do great exploits for the kingdom. If we want to see a significant difference in the world, we have to make prayer part of our daily lives.

 

When we invite God into our lives through prayer, we give him the chance to transform us into great kingdom men and women. Through prayer, we give the Holy Spirit access to our lives so that he can enable us to be on fire for Christ.

 

Prayer should never be taken lightly because when we pray, we actually tell God we can’t, but he can.  It is through prayer that we are able to admit our weaknesses to God and magnify him. God’s word tells us to pray without ceasing meaning it is not something that we should do only when we will feel like or once in a while. Each one of us needs to develop a disciplined prayer life.

 

You don’t need to pray perfect prayers, and you don’t need to pray like other people. Just pour your heart to him, and even if all you can do is say five words, God is okay with that.

 

The more you pray, the easier it will be for you to open up to God, and with time you will find yourself praying long prayers. Consistency will also cause you to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, causing you to be on fire for God.

 

Not just that, but the people you will be praying for will become on fire of God, and this will cause a remarkable transformation in the kingdom. The word of God says that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. It is through your prayers that the Holy Spirit will change lives. And there will be a revival in the church and the world.

 

Action:

Start each day with prayer. Remember, you don’t have to pray for one hour each morning like your youth pastor. Spend a few minutes talking to God. Ask him to protect you throughout the day. During the day, keep talking to him and say a short prayer before you go to bed. Ask God to give you grace for prayer so that you can be able to find the words and even pray long prayers. If you are struggling to find the right words to pray, buy a journal, and write down your prayers. Doing this will make it easy for you to pour out your heart to God.

 

How to Practice the Presence of God

How to Practice the Presence of God

Exodus 33

Psalm 16:11

 

“The most holy and important practice in the spiritual life is the presence of God – that is, every moment to take great pleasure that God is with you” ~ Brother Lawrence

 

It is challenging for us to know how to balance life, especially when you have to remain under your parents’ authority and still forge your own independence as you start to become an adult. You have to follow the rules and regulations set by your teachers and parents yet at the same time find a way to enjoy your independence for you are no longer entirely dependent on your parents.

 

At this stage of life, you have a mind of your own, and there some decisions you would love to make without consulting anyone. Unfortunately, that is not the case because you still have to talk to your parents and teachers and ensure that you’re on the right path.  You still have to check up with them because you’re under their care and are still their child no matter how old you get.

 

The children of Israel wanted to enjoy their own independence. Even though they knew that they could not handle life’s issues without God, they still went ahead and tried to do things their own way. We also do the same from time to time, but God did not create us to live apart from Him. We are supposed to depend on him for everything in our lives. When we try to do things apart from God, we end up messing up our lives, which causes us to leave in a state of defeat. 

 

When God told Moses that he wasn’t going to the promised land with them because the Israelites were stiff-necked people, Moses told Him not to send them into the promised land. Why did he tell God that? Moses knew that for the children of Israel to succeed in their journey to the promised land, they needed the presence of God to go with them.

 

It is in the presence of God that we become courageous and bold.  Trying to do things on our own will cause us to fail miserably.  Jesus said without him, we can do nothing. Meaning that we cannot ignite a flame for Him without his presence in our lives.

 

If you want to fan the flames of your Christian walk, start practicing the presence of God in your life.  Instead of focusing on your flaws or what is happening in the world, start focusing on God’s presence in your life.  See Him there with you, leading you to places you never imagined. When you fail, see him there encouraging you to get up and to continue fighting the good fight of faith.

 

Action:

When you get up in the morning, let God be the first person you think about and spend time with before you do any other thing.  Speak to Him like you would a friend and thank Him for giving you another chance to fulfill His purpose.

 

Throughout the day, see God there with you. If you are at school, see him helping you understand what the teachers are teaching you.  See Jesus helping you with your homework or house chores and guiding you where you need guidance.

 

7 Bible Verses on Prayer

7 Bible Verses on Prayer

There’s no stronger connection to God than prayer. Whether you want to celebrate something big that’s happening, have a problem in your life, are struggling with anxiety, or just want to thank God, you can pray! Communication with God is important, and we can strengthen our bond with Him through daily prayer. Here are some Bible verses on prayer that can remind you of that!

 

Jeremiah 29:12

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”

 

Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

 

Psalm 102:17

“He regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer.”

 

James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

 

Matthew 26:41

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

 

Acts 2:21

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

 

Job 42:10

“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

Embracing Your True Identity

Embracing Your True Identity

 

John 1:11-13

Colossians 2:9-10

 

How can God love someone like me? I don’t deserve anything from God. I wish I was just like other Christians, they seem to have it all together, but the same cannot be said about me.

 

Have you ever made any of these statements or heard someone make them? At times we find ourselves struggling with our true identity despite what the Bible says about us. We look at what the word of God says and then look at ourselves and don’t see a connection. We are like the complete opposite of what the word of God says about us.

 

If you study the life of Jesus, you’ll notice that he was able to accomplish so much within a short time. But why was that? It is because he was confident of who he was. Jesus did not second guess himself, and it didn’t matter what people said or thought about him.  He believed he was the son of God, that his father loved him and that he was here on earth for a purpose. In short, Jesus knew and embraced his true identity.

 

Do you know who you’re? Do you love and accept yourself with all your flaws and all? When you read the word of God, do you believe everything it says about you? Or does what the Bible says about you sound too good to be true? 

 

It is easy to get caught up with what the world calls acceptable. When we are at school, we may try hard to fit in with other students because we want to belong. It is not wrong to desire that, but we should never allow people to define us. Our identity should be in Christ, not in the things of this world that are just passing away.

 

Honestly, it is hard to be on fire for God when we don’t love and accept ourselves. We will keep second-guessing our relationship with God, and that will hinder us from moving forward with our lives. To serve God in spirit and in truth, we need to first embrace our identity.

 

When you know your identity in Christ, you stop trying to find validity in other people or things and run to God.  When the enemy attacks you in different ways, you continue to stand firm in faith and hold onto God’s promises because you know that your identity is found in Christ and him alone.  In times of despair, when your faith is under attack, it becomes hard for the devil to convince you to quit because you know that you have been bought at a price and you are complete in him. 

 

You do not have to second-guess yourself, child of God.  Your heavenly Father wants to use you mightily.  But for him to do that, you need to embrace your identity in Christ and see yourself complete in him. When you do that, you become confident, just like Jesus was confident in his own identity. 

 

Action:

Get a sheet of paper or book and write down three things you love about yourself and three things you wish you could change. Go to the Bible and find out what the Bible says about you. Spend time meditating on Bible verses about your identity in Christ until they become alive in you.

 

3 Things to Do If You’re Feeling Down

3 Things to Do If You’re Feeling Down

 

 

1. Get Up and Move

One of the best ways to pick yourself up when you’ve been having a bad day or week is to get up and exercise! 

 

And it doesn’t have to be long. Even going on a 15 minute walk or following along with a 5 minute stretch routine in Youtube can help create a drastic difference in your mood and feelings! 

 

2. Talk or Text with Someone You Love (And Who Loves You)

Sometimes, when you have the blues, family or friends can be the best medicine to fix that or ease your symptoms. 

 

Call them on the phone or shoot them a text to get something off your chest or just remind yourself that you have people around you who care!

 

3. Laugh

Look up one of your favorite comedies online or scroll through a meme/joke page on social media. 

 

Sometimes, we just need a laugh to remind us not to take things too seriously or get tahat heavy feeling off of our chests!

5 Bible Verses to Refresh Your Soul

5 Bible Verses to Refresh Your Soul

 

“The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” — Exodus 15:2

 

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” — Isaiah 40:31

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” — Romans 15:13

 

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13:13

 

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” — Psalm 46:10

 

7 Bible Verses about Love

7 Bible Verses about Love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” — 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” —1 Corinthians 13:13

“Do everything in love.” — 1 Corinthians 16:14

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” — Ephesians 4:2

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” — 1 Peter 4:8 

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.We love because he first loved us.” — 1 John 4:18-19

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” —Proverbs 10:12

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” —1 John 4:8

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” — Romans 12:9

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” —Proverbs 17:17

“For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16