If only life was always filled with roses, where no pain could penetrate our heart; or our clocks would stop long enough for us to revel in the moment and be thankful. Then, it would always be easy to maintain our joy. But what happens when life isn’t going smoothly, when it takes all your effort to stay above water? What then? I have felt pain, and I have felt joy. Here are some ways I am able to keep my joy a little longer.
Rest in God
God can give you peace in the bleakest of situations, or accentuate your good days to be even better. Turn to Him; lay your trials at His feet. Thank Him for His many blessings. If the apostle Paul can sing in prison, we can learn to rise above our trials as well.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Focus on today
So often we are bogged down by the guilt of yesterday, the fears of tomorrow, and our current situation. It’s overwhelming. It’s defeating, and it’s a joy snatcher. We really need to start dealing with one day at a time. Forget roll over minutes. Today is the day you are given, and that is what you are responsible for.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Count your blessings often. Even in our darkest trials there is something to be thankful for. I keep a journal and list what I am thankful for. So, even when I am hurting I can be reminded of all my blessings, because sometimes when we are hurting, we don’t have the energy to even lift our head let alone pretend to be joyful. But when I look at my journal I am reminded of my blessings, and it gives me the encouragement I need.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
There are few things that will damper a mood more than complaining. Focusing on all the negative is a vicious cycle. Here on earth there will always be something that doesn’t meet our fancy. Somedays it takes effort to focus on the positive. The more you get in the habit of looking for the positive the easier it becomes, and likewise, the more we complain the easier that becomes as well. The big difference is complaining only brings temporary relief, whereas focusing on the positive is a lifestyle change. You are declaring, no matter your situation, that you are choosing to thank God rather than wallow in a life of self pity.
Do everything without complaining or arguing.
Don’t overbook yourself
Don’t crowd your days with fluff. What is filling your time? Sometimes busyness is what’s killing our joy. Pray specifically for what God has for you. Work on quality not just quantity.
Breathe. Take time to enjoy your children, to appreciate your spouse, to laugh with your friends. Or as my 3 year old would say, “You have to chill out.”
Love without reservation. Forgive past transgressions. Spend a moment with someone not thinking of everything else you have to do. Just enjoy the moment, and the blessings that this time brings.
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.