Want more joy in your day? Cultivate it! Joy springs from viewing the day's events from eternity's perspective. With this intentional focus, you're sure to see today differently - with more joy and conviction that God is at work in your life.
1. Rehearse with God the reasons you trust Him. Tell Him which of His attributes is your favorite right now. Read the praises of Scripture back to Him — begin with Psalm 103. Join with another believer in prayers of thanksgiving, and delight yourself in His character.
2. Keep a "joy journal." Record the reasons you have to rejoice and the reminders of God's faithfulness that you encounter in your everyday life. In addition, why not press a leaf from your prayer walks into its pages or include a photo of a person that brings you joy each time you remember him or her? Think big — expand your journal into a "joy box" or a "joy drawer" that brings floods of joy each time you open it.
3. Surround yourself with joyful people. Joy is contagious — so build relationships with friends whose lives exhibit their confidence in God. Pray for each other that your joy in Christ would continue to increase.
4. Approach life's challenges and trials redemptively. God doesn't waste the difficult circumstances of your life but uses them to develop His character in you. Review Romans 5 and James 1 for help in processing pressure productively. Joy will sneak up on you when you view your hardest lessons as gifts from God.
5. Make praise and gratitude a habit. Has God met a need? Praise Him! Have your challenges given you greater opportunities to see Him work? Thank Him! Joy flows from a grateful and responsive heart. Before you turn in at night, write down three to five blessings in your "joy journal." Make it a habit, and watch your joyful attitude grow.
6. Fill your mind with music. Listen to, sing, and meditate on music that draws your heart nearer to God and His Word.
7. Take the long view. Investors advise their clients not to worry about the daily ups and downs of the stock market — what matters is the long view. Does life present incredible challenges today? Are your reserves at a low, or are you enjoying a content plateau? Regardless of today's events, take the long view. Remember that God remains in charge of your days and will faithfully develop His character in you.
Remember, joy springs from viewing the day's events from eternity's perspective. Trust that God controls your life's details (Romans 8:28), that He hears your every request (Psalm 116:1), and that His joy will be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Adapted from "Seven Ways to Cultivate Joy," Insights (March 2001): 2. Copyright © 2001 by Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.