How to Increase Your Joy!

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. Joy is so much more powerful than happy!

Happiness expresses a momentary feeling. It partners with pleasure, humor, and entertainment. It comes and goes with the events of your day. Happiness also has a lot to do with your personality. I’m sure you’ve noticed, *|FNAME|*, that some people are just happier than others.

God calls joy a ‘fruit of the spirit’. It is actually a spiritual force; therefore, you experience joy on a deeper level than happiness. It is more lasting and less affected by circumstance. Joy comes from an abiding knowledge that no matter what happens, you are blessed.

Have you ever wondered how to add more joy to your life? How to eliminate the highs and lows of emotions driven by your circumstances? Here are a few suggestions:

Guard your thoughts!

How you experience the things that happen in your life is directly related to your thoughts. The Psalmist noted, as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. People decide whether to be happy or miserable, joyful or sad, angry or forgiving. Every one of those ‘feelings’ is a choice you make day by day, and sometimes minute by minute. What you think about what happened is far more powerful in your life than the actual event or situation. Keep your thoughts on the blessing and promises of God, regardless of the circumstances.

Be exceedingly grateful!

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 joy.  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. Gratitude is powerful.

The Word says in everything, give thanks. That doesn’t mean for everything; it means that no matter what you’re going through, God 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 His exceeding joy!

Take joy in your work.

Notice I said ‘take’, not ‘find’. Many people spend great quantities of time complaining about their jobs, their boss, and their paycheck. All that negative energy steals joy and peace. Instead, you can choose to seek the joy and blessing in your present circumstance, even as you believe God for favor and promotion.

Don’t look to a JOB as your source. Instead, remember that God is The Source of all. Expect Him to expand your opportunities to exceed your need and give you more than enough! God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work (2Cor. 9:8). What’s a good work? When you’ve got your needs met and can help meet the needs of others.

You job is not just about the paycheck. You are performing a valuable service to the company you work for and its clients and customers. You are needed. You should be an asset and a blessing to the people you work with or come in contact with every day. If you are contributing to the well-being of your company, you can feel good about your work. That sense of satisfaction enhances your joy.

Rejoice in giving.

There is great joy in giving, in knowing that you can make a difference in someone else’s life. Whether that means baking cookies to take to the neighbor down the street, giving money to church or charity, or donating your time to help with a community project or a friend’s need, it’s your abundance that enables you to focus on others and abound to every good work. A miserly attitude is based in fear that the money will run out, that someday there won’t be enough. Yet God wants you to enjoy the fruits of your labor and be a blessing to others. Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over!

Tithing is an essential part of God’s plan. Not only does it demonstrate your obedience to God, it opens the windows of heaven for an overflow of blessing (see Mal. 3:10). Your tithe connects you to the Blessing of God and allows Him to pour more and more abundance into your life.

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 still in the middle! Your ‘mess’ doesn’t look like a mess to God. He always causes you to triumph (2 Cor. 2:14). Nothing intimidates God and no problem is too big for Him to handle.

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. God is good and He wants to do you good.

Be blessing-minded.

The Bible says we are ‘blessed to be a blessing’. Don’t let your problems short-circuit your capacity to 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 their mountain of problems. 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.

It’s your choice.

I’ve known people who have every advantage and material blessing, but they are miserable (and often miserly). I’ve also known people (you probably do, too, *|FNAME|*) who have less in the form of material possessions, but they are full of joy and gladness. The difference obviously wasn’t the money or lack thereof. It was all in their individual beliefs and attitudes about life.

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 choose your attitude and your response. Focus on your blessings instead of your problems, bless others and keep your heart full of praise and thanksgiving. As you do that consistently, you are sure to find exceeding joy and increasing hope for your future.

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