It’s easy to look forward to the future when your boss tells you that you’re getting a promotion, a huge raise, or you’re going on an extravagant vacation with your family. But how do you get excited about life when it feels mundane?
How do you look forward to the future when your situation isn’t what you want it to be?
Well, I have good news for you… there is a way to have joy and happiness every day, despite your circumstances!
TRUE JOY VS. TEMPORARY HAPPINESS
Happiness can be a lot like eating. Material things, vacations, or exciting news bring you temporary joy just like a meal will temporarily satisfy your hunger. However, it doesn’t matter how delicious your dinner the night before was; you’ll always be hungry for dinner the next night.
In the same way, our emotions always need more and more to keep us happy.
Hello, emotional roller coaster!
It doesn’t matter how great your shoes were five years ago; you’ll eventually wear out the soles and need some new ones. You might’ve had a really cool vacation last summer, but if you’re focused on the fact that you don’t have one planned for this summer, you’ll be disappointed.
God’s joy is like walking into an all-you-can-eat buffet. Any time you’re hungry, just grab a plate! The Bible says His joy surpasses all circumstances AND it’s your strength in life. That means that His joy is your EMOTIONAL strength in life—helping you to walk through trying circumstances untouched and unaffected!
Thank you, Jesus! I’ll take that!
So, how do you fill up your plate? How do you reach out and take the joy of the Lord when you’re feeling down?
Here are three powerful tips to help you find joy daily, no matter what your circumstances are!
1. Keep Everything in Perspective.
It’s easy to scroll through social media and compare someone else’s picture-perfect life to the reality of yours. Everybody is going through something, but you may not see it. Comparison will steal your joy if you let it. Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to someone else. Focus on running your race. God has a unique race for you to run. Don’t focus on other people’s paths.
Perspective determines everything in your life. If you view yourself as a failure, you’ll begin to live like one. If you view yourself as having success even if it doesn’t look like you will, you’re more likely to have that success.
CHANGE YOUR WORDS
One of the biggest ways to change your perspective is to speak life over the situation!
Your words are extremely powerful. You can speak your world into existence. Interestingly enough, both Christian and non-Christian studies agree that your words are influential on your life. That’s why there is so much power in what you think about yourself and what you say about yourself!
When you don’t know what to speak over yourself, turn to God’s Word. He is your creator, and you have been made in His image. And guess what? He has good things to say about you!
2. Count Your Blessings.
You may think you don’t have anything to be grateful for, but I promise you that you do.
There is joy that can be found every day through Christ when you look at what you do have, not at what you don’t have. While you may not have the house your friend has, you probably have something else she doesn’t. There’s more than enough provision in God’s Kingdom for both of you!
The danger in isolating one specific thing to compare where you are at with where someone else is at is that you will always find someone who has that one thing that is better than yours. The part that we ignore is that there is always someone else who doesn’t have it as great as we do.
Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. You may be excelling in an area that someone else would love to be good at. Don’t take for granted what you do have because if you do, you will never be satisfied.
There will always be more stuff to buy, nicer and newer cars to have, newer clothes to have, and more places to travel. It’s important to be thankful for the house you do have rather than complaining that the kitchen isn’t big enough or you wish you had more bedrooms like your friend does. Be thankful that you have a functioning kitchen and children to fill the bedrooms you do have!
When we focus on what God has blessed us with, it reminds us of His goodness. He is always good to us and wants to bless His children. But God doesn’t want to hear us complain about the gifts He’s given us just as any parent doesn’t want their kid to complain about a birthday present they received.
Thank God for what He has blessed you with, and watch how it changes your attitude!
3. Trust God, and Cast Your Cares on Him.
Most of the time when our emotions get out of whack, it’s not really a circumstance issue; it’s a trust issue! We aren’t trusting God to do His part and take care of us.
No matter what we’re facing, when we know that God loves us and has the power to move in our lives, we never have to let worry rob us of our joy. We know our Daddy will take care of us!
First Peter 5:7 (NIV) says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
TRUST is the biggest protector of joy. In fact, I would say that your joy will always be a direct reflection of how much you trust God!
Remind yourself of everything that God has done for you in the past and how He has always shown up in times of need. And I promise you, if you find yourself in a time of need right now, He will show up again! It may not be when you expect it or how you picture it, but God always makes a way for His children to succeed, and it will be BETTER than your plan.
When God’s will becomes your perspective, you can be confident in your situation. You can be confident that if God calls you to something and you follow Him, you are on the absolute best possible path for your life. There is no better position for you to be in than fully surrendered and following God’s plan.
The math might not add up to you right now, but eventually, you’ll look back and realize why things happened as they did. His plan will always lead us to the best path in the long run.
GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS
I want to encourage you to pay attention to your thoughts this week. Are they mostly positive, or are they negative?
The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV), “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Take control of your thoughts! Don’t let the enemy get in your mind and fall for his lies! Make sure your thoughts are aligning with the Word of God. And when you don’t know what to think about, go to His Word to see what He says about you. Focus on the goodness of God. Change your perspective to one of gratitude and thankfulness.