We all want joy (happiness, gladness, rejoicing, delight) in our lives. For some people joy eludes them, for others they have joy in excess. I learned today some things that can bust our joy and some others that can build them. I would like to share them so that you can have the joy that we all seek.
Unrealized Expectations - Can you think of one person who has everything that they want? Even those who seem to have a lot are still looking for something else. It is not only material possessions that are being talked about here: a happy childhood, a loving faithful spouse, well-behaved children, etc.
Unresolved Conflict - When these are in our lives they exhaust all other emotions so we have no room for joy. We should try to always try to live in peace with others so that we don't grow bitter roots. Those roots can run so deep that they become almost impossible to pull up.
Unconfessed Sin - Guilt and shame from action that we are hiding gut our joy. In the beginning of Psalms 32 David says that when we keep our sins a secret the pressure never lets up, when we tell them to God or to the person we have hurt the pressure is gone, the guilt dissolved, and the sin disappears.
Accept Forgiveness - When you confess your sins to God or to the person you hurt and they say you have been forgiven, then you must believe and trust that you have been forgiven. This is hard to do, that is understandable, but you have to have a change of heart/mind and it CAN happen.
Grant Forgiveness - Maybe you are not the one who did something wrong, but you are harboring resentment against the one who did. Forgiveness removes the anger and bitterness.
Have a Purpose - Strive to do something in your life that has a purpose. Do something with a worthwhile end. Your purpose may not be the same as someone else. You have to find your own place and purpose.
Focus on Gratitude - Being thankful for what you DO have and joy will naturally follow. Shift your focus and you might just be shocked at how much you do have. I always tend to have unrealized expectation about money. I tend to focus on the debt that we have, but today I realized that we are paying down that debt. It is not getting larger, it is shrinking. It is not as fast as I want it and it causes me to lose my joy. So, this lesson today shifted my focus and when I realized it I did feel happier.
Realize What Troubles Mean - You will have many kinds of troubles. But when these things happen, you should be very happy. Why? Because you know that these things are testing your faith. And this will give you patience. Let that patience work in you to give the result God wants. Then you will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be. -James 1:2-4-
I hope you can take something from this and use it in your life. I know I did.
Have a joyous day!