Just waiting for JOY and HAPPINESS to show up in your life isn’t likely to get great, steady results. Like so many things in life, finding JOY is a proactive thing… you’ve got to make it happen!
Now, realize the difference between JOY and temporary happiness…
Receiving a gift might bring temporary feelings of “happiness.”
When your hubby gets a raise at work, that might also make you feel temporarily “happy.“
True JOY, on the other hand, can be a continual state of emotional and mental peace.
True JOY; as a state of being internally enriched with peace and happiness, is something that truly is obtainable for all Christians.
JOY starts with walking in the steps of the Lord Jesus. Letting Him be Lord of your life. Following God’s biblical principles always yields the best results!
“Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” – Psalm 144:15 kjv
Three SIMPLE things to remember in pursuing JOY…
Firstly, I don’t think it’s possible for any Christian to have true, ongoing JOY when they’re living in sin.
“There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” – Isaiah 48:22 kjv
Secondly, a lack of faith can also rob us of true JOY when worry, fretting and doubting creeps into our life.
Thirdly, JOY in everyday living isn’t found in fulfilling our own material needs and wants.
What’s JOY about anyway…
It’s an everyday renewing of our minds through Christ when we abide in Him. Abiding in Jesus ALWAYS brings JOY and peace!
It’s about serving others.
It’s a choice to make the most out of your life each day, instead of focusing on those temporary “happy” surges.
Remember that acronym for JOY?
J – Jesus first
O – Others second
Y – Yourself last
That pretty much spells JOY when we get our priorities in the right order!
UPDATE: I wanted to re-share these IDEAS today because we are needing to focus on more JOY during this difficult time of dealing with the Corona Virus… SOME of the ideas you can immediately implement, while OTHERS might not exactly be possible right now. One way or the other, I hope this will encourage you to find JOY amongst the chaos right now.
Here’s some FUN things to do to spark everyday HAPPINESS and JOY…
1. Put your JOY-sparking activities on your To-Do list!
How can we have true JOY without the Lord Jesus?! Keep God first! Memorize encouraging Scriptures!
Start your day with Bible reading and prayer. Confess sin; get rid of sin. Sin robs you of JOY!
Have trouble making it a real priority? Write it on your paper planner, digital planner, sticky-note, refrigerator, dry erase board, or even with a dry erase marker on your bathroom mirror.
NOTE to SELF: Spark JOY today!
2. Give yourself permission to be JOYFUL and HAPPY everyday!
Believe it or not, many of us feel guilty at being JOYFUL, especially when others are going through difficult situations. Maybe we think “now isn’t the appropriate time” or “how can I be JOYFUL when there’s so much pain in the world?”
Just because others aren’t happy doesn’t mean you must deny yourself JOY and HAPPINESS. Pray for those who are hurting! Realize others need our JOY as an encouragement. You’ll also find that it “spreads” and uplifts others!
3. Enjoy a Silly Moment
Did you just have a ridiculous experience or funny thought? Share it! It might make someone else laugh… which brightens up other people’s day.
One way to get through trials is to keep a good sense of humor. It will keep a healthy balance mentally and emotionally…and boost your spirits, as well as others.
4. Laugh at Yourself – Often
Uh-oh! Did you mess up or something embarrassing happen? Laugh at yourself and let others laugh with you. Don’t rehash things over and over. The continual thoughts, “I should have, could have, would have” doesn’t let you retain a JOYFUL spirit.
5. Play! Take time to Have Fun
If you have children or any nearby, go outside and play with them, or find a way to play indoors if you can’t go out. It doesn’t have to be a sport. Free play like imaginative role-playing, exploring the woods, rolling down a grassy hill, or playing tag are all fun ways to get back to your playful side.
6. Smile – Smile Some More
Just smile at people and animals – a dog in the park, a child in a stroller, an older couple holding hands. Smile at the things you see around you and experience the JOY they offer. Smiles are contagious and heart-warming gifts to others.
Celebrate Each Day…
Why let thankfulness and celebration only come at holidays and special occasions?
Why not make every single day a celebration by being thankful?
Here’s some ideas on how to do that…
1. Say “Thank You” Often – Gratitude Affects Your Attitude
Thank someone each day (or regularly at least) for how they make you feel, what they’ve done for you, or how they have made your life better. This will help you both feel more JOY!
2. Set the Right State of Mind
For starters, you need to relieve tension and anxiety. It’s really hard to feel grateful when you’re upset, nervous, or otherwise tense. First, always pray and ask God for an extra measure of grace and calmness.
Do some activities to relieve stress: exercising, cooking, baking, relaxing, taking a short nap, singing, taking a bubble bath, drawing, painting or reading a book might really help.
3. Celebrate This Moment
When you think about it, right now is the time to act! Don’t wallow in the past or worry about the future. Stop and think about where you are, right now, and be grateful and thank God for what you see and feel.
3. Show Gratitude to Your Family
Your family is with you every day, which makes it easy to overlook and take them for granted. Take a moment to celebrate your family and be grateful for them. Show your appreciation each day by acknowledging a family member’s individual contribution and personality. Each day, you can think of which family member you’re going to thank, and how.
4. Remember Your Friends
Friends are a gift from God, just as our family members are! They are also easy to take for granted, especially in this day and age with hundreds of online friends on Facebook or other social networks.
Take a moment to celebrate something special about a friend today. Maybe a note, phone call, text, or some other personal communication would make her day. Share a memory! Go out for lunch! Have your friend over for tea! Find a way to show your gratitude for those people who are your friends.
5. Go Outdoors
Getting outdoors and appreciating the fresh air, fields, woods, rocks, wildlife, or whatever you have available is a wonderful way to experience nature’s joy. Isn’t God”s creation beautiful!
It can be on the beach or in the mountains, or anywhere in between…just get outside for a bit each day if you can, or at least weekly. You don’t have to “do” anything – just be outside and take it all in.
Even if it’s cool and rainy, there are some lovely things you can experience outdoors. Put on rain boots and just go for a walk – be thankful it’s raining, which is so good for the plants and streams.
The real key to celebrating each day by being thankful is to look for ways to do so.
6. Sit down and write
Writing in a journal, particularly a gratitude journal, can help you mentally and emotionally appreciate the moment and the day God has given you.
Another option is to write about personal stories from your past. Pondering the past in a postive way, can be fulfilling…making you appreciate the present as well.
Giving Back: Six Ways You Can Help Others
It’s very fulfilling to reach out and find a way to help other people. And, in our modern culture that promotes isolation, reaching out is getting more rare…and more necessary.
Here’s 6 ways to give back and reach out to others…
1. Pay a Compliment
Does that seem too small? You’d be surprised. Paying someone a compliment can absolutely lift their spirits and make their day. There’s almost always something you can compliment about a person – fingernail design/color, a piece of jewelry, an article of clothing, or a hairstyle.
Take this a bit further and pay a compliment to someone that is not superficial. Compliment their good attitude, for example, or point out their calmness under pressure. Just a simple compliment can mean so much!
While it may not seem personal at first, volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to your community while making individual people feel supported and cared about.
Here’s some ideas of where you can volunteer…
* Your church is a good place to start. There’s almost always something that’s needed in the area of service. If you can’t offer your time on a continual basis, there’s often other needs such as groceries or food preparation, etc.
* Homeless shelters and soup kitchens always need a helping hand. You’ll help the hard-working coordinators who run the shelter or kitchen, and you’ll also help those in need who come there.
* Nursing homes are another great possibility for volunteering. Residents may appreciate a visit, and the staff might have you help decorate or clean up for an event.
3. Be Friendly
Just being nice and smiling at people can give them a lift for the day. Just say “hello” and give folks a smile — you may be a more positive influence than you realize!
Whether you give your used stuff to someone personally or to your local second-hand shop, the effects are positive: you get to give something to someone that might otherwise not be able to afford it.
You can also donate money to a charity that you believe in and want to see flourish. I personally have a great vision for missions at my church. Give to your missionaries on the field so that they can stay on the field to spread the gospel where they are!
5. Show Someone How to Do Something
Does your mother not understand the computer? Does your dad have technical problems with recording his favorite sport on TV? Maybe your child is struggling with math or some other subject at school, or your niece needs someone to show her how to play soccer. It may not be a relative; but most of us know someone who needs help learning a skill. Step up and teach!
6. Do a Chore for Someone
Whether it’s taking out the garbage for an elderly person down the road or mowing someone’s lawn, stepping up to do a much-needed chore can be a tremendous help.
There’s so many ways you can help others. Just use a little creativity and willingness to help wherever it’s needed.
*Updated 3/17/2020 / *Originally posted June 17, 2013