The Key to Exceeding Joy – Become Exceedingly Grateful!

Don’t minimize the power of little things to add joy to your life. ~ Joyce Meyer

When was the last time you were exceedingly joyful? You know, over the top, filled with so much joy that you could hardly contain it? Did you notice joy’s companion – a grateful heart. True joy is always accompanied by intense thankfulness, the recognition of Divine blessing and favor. It is so much more than happy!

Happiness expresses a momentary feeling. It associates with pleasure, humor, and enjoyment. It comes and goes with the events of your day. Happiness also has a lot to do with your personality. Some people are just happier than others.

Joy is greater than happiness, more lasting and less affected by circumstance. Joy is spiritual; therefore, you experience joy on a deeper level than happiness. It is an abiding knowledge that no matter what happens, you are blessed.

The Bible (KJV) mentions ‘happy’ only 25 times while ‘joy’ is used 187 times. In almost every instance, joy is an expression of thanksgiving and praise. It is also a decision. The Word says to ‘be joyful … break forth into joy … make a joyful noise’. Joy is active not passive.

Have you ever wondered how to add more joy to your life? How to eliminate the highs and lows of emotion? One key is gratitude.

An attitude of gratitude recognizes the goodness and blessings in your life. As you consistently look for things to be grateful for, you increase your capacity for great joy. Here are three tips to an overflow of thanksgiving and exceeding joy.

Always look for good. No matter what you face, the potential for something good to come out of it is huge. The problem is that you can’t see the end when you’re stuck in the middle!

Don’t get bogged down in negatives, running them round and round in your mind until that’s all you can see. Instead, consciously look for something – anything! – good in your life. Add up your small blessings until they crowd out worry, anxiety and dread.

Be blessing-minded. The Bible says we are ‘blessed to be a blessing’. Don’t let your problems short-circuit your capacity to be bless others. There is joy in giving, sharing, meeting a need for someone else. Blessings don’t have to be big or costly to be meaningful.

For instance, I make it a point to smile at everyone I pass on the street. It may be the only smile they receive in a mountain of problems. (Years ago, a stranger said to a friend of mine, “You’re friends with that tall lady, aren’t you? I was feeling so down the other day, and she smiled at me and said hi. I felt so much better that someone noticed me.”) I want to be that blessing – every day.

 I also try to extend a compliment– ‘nice tie’ … ‘your eyes just sparkle today’ … ‘that jacket looks so good on you, it’s the perfect color’. Develop your ‘be a blessing’ mentality. Look for opportunities to uplift and inspire others. You’ll feel wonderful.

 Turn up the praise. The potential for joy is greater than you might think. Grab your faith (that’s what it’s for!), find God’s promises in His Word and hang on to them. Sing, shout; make a joyful noise! Do it on purpose, whether you ‘feel’ like it or not.

 The Word says in everything, give thanks. That doesn’t mean for everything; it means that no matter what you’re going through, He has your back.  Praise Him for His protection and care. Thank Him for sunshine, friends and simple pleasures. The more you express gratitude and praise, the more you will experience exceeding joy!

 Joy is a deep, internal wellspring – the realization that no matter what happens, God can and will help you overcome every situation. You may go ‘through’ some stuff, but you can change your attitude and your response. Focus on your blessings instead of your problems, bless others and keep your heart full of praise and thanksgiving. If you do that, you are sure to find exceeding joy and hope for your future.

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