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.

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.

 

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!

Send Your Loved Ones Some Encouraging Christmas Cards with These Verses

Send Your Loved Ones Some Encouraging Christmas Cards with These Verses

Now is a better time than ever to send your family and friends CHRISTmas cards with beautiful, encouraging Bible verses woven into the messages. Share a verse that is special to you or maybe one that reminds you of them. Also, you might try some of these below!

 

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

 

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.

 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

 

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

 

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

 

 

7 Bible Verses about Gratitude

7 Bible Verses about Gratitude

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, now is a wonderful time to read some verses about gratitude to help us better express to God how good He is and how grateful we are for His grace and guidance. Use these verses as you meditate on all God has done and is doing for you. When you’re done, share this with a friend or family member who can use it, too!

 

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

— 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

— Psalm 118:24

 

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

— Colossians 3:15

 

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”

— Psalm 107:1

 

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

— Matthew 6:21

 

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

— 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

— Psalm 103:2-5

A Few Christian Poems to Strengthen Your Faith

A Few Christian Poems to Strengthen Your Faith

It’s pretty easy for life to take a toll on our spirits. One thing can go wrong and cause this ripple effect in our lives where it seems like nothing is going right. In these times, before removing yourself from the world for a long soak in the bathtub or a Netflix binge, read these poems by Joanna Fuchs so that you can go into a more peaceful, reassured slumber.

“You’re Always There for Me”

When the world comes crashing in
And chaos rules my mind,
I turn my heart to you, Lord,
And pure, sweet peace I find.

You lift me out of trouble
You comfort me in pain;
You nourish, heal and cleanse me,
Like cool, refreshing rain.

In times of joy and bliss,
When things are going right,
You lift me even higher,
And fill me with delight.

You listen to my prayers;
You hear my every plea;
I’m safe because I know
You’re always there for me.

“We’ll Get Through This”

Lord, our troubles
Are so great,
We don’t know what to do;
The price for our
Iniquity
Is finally coming due.

The world is crumbling
All about;
No safe place can be found.
Right is wrong,
Wrong is right;
The change is quite profound.

Lord, we need
Your guiding light
To lead us out of here;
We’ll focus on
Your Word, and prayer,
To take away our fear.

Temptations of
This dying world
We’ll rule out and let go;
Give our burdens
All to you,
Shed all worldly woe.

That’s how we’ll
Get through this, Lord,
Fixed on heaven above,
Assured of your
protection, help,
And everlasting love.

 

“To Do List From God”

I ran my life in search of worldly things;
My time and will were firmly in control.
I thought I had no need for what God brings;
I gave no heed to murmurs from my soul.

“You’re planning, doing all the time,” it said,
“But something else is missing deep inside.
Your mind is whirling, but your heart is dead,
So turn to God and let go of your pride.”

I did, and God said, “Here’s My plan for you:
Give your life to Me, and just let go.
Have faith and pray, and read the Bible through,
And you’ll have blessings more than you can know.”

So simple, yet it brings me perfect peace,
Living life for God the way I should.
Direction, purpose, fullness and release—
Life with God is very, very good.

10 Upbeat Praise & Worship Songs to Lift Your Spirit

10 Upbeat Praise & Worship Songs to Lift Your Spirit

#1 – “Echo” by Elevation Worship ft. Tauren Wells

 

#2 – “King of Glory” by Passion ft. Kristian Stanfill

 

#3 – “See A Victory” by Elevation Worship

 

#4 – “Graves Into Gardens” by Elevation Worship ft. Brandon Lake

 

 

 

#5 – “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson

#6 – “You Lead” by Jamie Grace

 

 

 

#7 – “Look Up Child” by Lauren Daigle

 

 

 

#8 – “Struck by Grace” by Elevation Youth

 

#9 – “Let Go” by Hillsong Young & Free

 

 

 

#10 – “Promises” by Maverick City Worship