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.

 

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!

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.

3 Myths about Therapy Christians Shouldn’t Believe

3 Myths about Therapy Christians Shouldn’t Believe

When you’re sick, I’m sure you never hesitate to set up an appointment with your doctor. And when your eyes have been strained, you’re quick to get a new prescription from your eye doctor. So why does therapy seem like less of an option?

 

Mental health is just as important as physical health, so we’re going to cover 3 myths people believe that can be an obstacle to getting help.

1. Thinking You Have to Have It All Together

It’s isn’t uncommon to fall into the trap that you have to be perfect at everything you do and that any emotions or thoughts you’re struggling with are a failure on your part. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Remember, Christ came down to Earth to die for our sins because we couldn’t on our own. We need a Savior because we’re imperfect beings, and God’s grace is there to cover us. It is what frees us from the chains of perfectionism.

Now, it’s understandable that you may not want everyone knowing your struggles, but a counselor who’s sworn to confidentiality is a wonderful person to tell your story to. Talking to someone can be freeing just as God’s grace is.

 

2. Thinking Counseling Is Only for “Serious Problems”

While therapy is very helpful to people who have been through traumatic and violent experiences, it is also for those who have been through other things. Counseling is a place for you to talk through your thoughts and feelings with someone trained to help you figure out and process them.

Also, if you’re not careful, a small struggle can turn into a big one. So get help where you are now instead of waiting.

 

3. Thinking You Have to Be Strong

Yes, the Lord is your strength (check out Psalm 28:7), but it is important not to confuse God’s strength and your strength. Our God is perfect, all-knowing, loving, and all-powerful, but we are not. If we confuse the two, we will end up thinking we’re strong enough to take on all the problems we get in life on our own and put off counseling.

If you look at God’s strength a little more closely, though, you’ll see the beautiful thing about it is that it’s for us in our weakness. When we’re low, God can bring us back up. How?

Well, sometimes, that is through counseling. If you seek out a faithful Christian counselor, it can be a way to work through issues and how to be strengthened by God in everyday life!

What Philippians 4:13 Means for Your Life

What Philippians 4:13 Means for Your Life

If you’ve been in any Christian circle, you have likely heard the verse Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” What you may not know, though, is the context behind this verse and how in it, Paul teaches us how we get through hard times.

So, Paul wrote Philippians as a letter to the Church at Philippi while imprisoned. In verse twelve, he reminds the Church that he knows persecution and struggle but act he remains content through it all. And in verse thirteen, he explains why that is.

“I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

The “I” in this subject is Paul. When he says “things,” he is referring to the persecution and struggle he’s being going through. When he says “through,” this means because of. He is able to get through everything because of Jesus Christ. Christ strengthened Paul to help him stay content and solid while hard times came, and He can do the same for us.

Whether you’re going through a particularly bad bout of anxiety, a long cloud is having over you, or you’re having a bad week or something bad has happened to someone you love, you can always pray to God. Ask Him to strengthen you and help you to lean on Him to get through things.

Tell God what you’re worried about, what you need help with, why you’re sad. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Cast all your anxieties on Him, for he cares for You.” And remember that God hears those prayers, as 1 John 5:15 says: “And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

God is always with you, and with His grace comes more than salvation— He also comes with an arm reaching out to us, a gift of a relationship with Him. God wants to listen to you and guide you and be who you depend on when times get tough, but He can only do that if you let Him.

So let go of whatever the tips of your fingers are on in the world and hold on to God and His peace just as Paul did here.

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