Every human being on the planet wants joy; after all, it’s what we were originally created for. As believers, we are commanded to practice it. But more often than not, joy is elusive and seems out of reach. Joyfulness can be especially hard to hold on to in the midst of trials and tribulation. For the past two months, we’ve discussed the necessity of embracing joy in the healing journey and why it is the key to our success. This month, I want to continue on this subject by sharing with you five practical strategies for defeating negativity and living out the God-intended joy for your life.
We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. –2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
1) In the flesh, we are prone to evaluate our lives as going from failure to failure. This is a huge hindrance to joy! The Bible teaches us that the Lord evaluates our lives differently. From the Lord’s perspective, we as believers go from glory to glory.
Get a journal and begin to reframe the past 24 hours with the help of the Lord. Write out His evaluation of it. Ask the Holy Spirit to highlight moments of victory and glory. Trust me, when He looks at your life, the Lord sees more glory than you could ever imagine. Getting glimpses of God’s perspective of your life will make you joyful!
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving . . . –Colossians 4:2
2) Always include thanksgiving in your prayer life. This is the opposite of doubt and double-mindedness. It is the fullness of belief, and it gives you access to more joy.
The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. –Song of Solomon 2:8
3) SEE GOD. So often in the midst of a difficult circumstance, we lose sight of God’s presence with us in the situation. Our focus is stuck on the blocked goal, resulting in frustration and disappointment. If we would only redirect our focus and look up, we would see that blocked goals are nothing to the Lord—He leaps upon the mountains. We would also see the power of our relationship with the Lord. Our faith moves mountains. This new perspective fosters excitement and joy because life becomes an adventure with God on your side.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. –Psalm 27:6
4) At the moment you feel pulled toward negativity, offer a sacrifice of praise. Joy can be difficult; it can be a sacrifice. These are the “hallelujahs” that mean the most. It’s easy to praise God in seasons of blessing when joy is abundant. It’s much harder when we are suffering and joy seems scarce. Nevertheless, Jesus is worthy of our praise regardless of the circumstance. Sacrifices of joy interject strength into the situation—not just for you, but for all involved.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions. –Psalm 45:7
5) Learn to laugh with God. Jesus is the most joyful man! God has a happy heart, and He has a sense of humor. We learn to cry with God, but rarely do we learn to laugh with Him. Ask God to reveal His sense of humor to you. Ask Him to make you laugh. The Lord’s humor is certain to brighten your day and bring you joy.
Joy is a powerful weapon in the hands of the believer. It is our strength in the battle. (No wonder the enemy works so hard to steal it!) I pray that as you implement new strategies in your life, you will have more joy, peace and victory.