Looking back on my life, I can say that one of the most joyful days I have ever experienced was the day my husband, Wade, proposed marriage to me. It was a chilly December day and we had an impromptu date night (thanks to my sister offering to watch my son). What I thought was going to be just another fun night out ended up being a fairy tale. Wade took me downtown and told me we were going to eat, but instead lead me to a horse drawn carriage waiting for our arrival. We got seated and the horse and carriage drove around the beautiful historic buildings downtown. Wade then asked me to close my eyes while the carriage parked.
How I managed to keep my eyes shut, I have no idea. When I heard him call, “You can open your eyes now,” I opened them and gasped. My entire family and many of his were already there. The aisle to the courtyard was beautifully lit with flickering candles and Wade waited at the end. I walked down the aisle (where we would later be married), and he asked my son, Jude, to come up. He first proposed to Jude with a ring pop and asked if he could marry his mommy. Jude shook his head yes (but mostly just wanted the ring pop). Then Wade got down on his knee and took out the most beautiful ring I had ever seen and asked me to be his wife. We hugged family, got back on the carriage, and were whisked away to the river falls illuminated with Christmas lights. And I wasn’t even cold.
That was one of the most joyous days of my life.
But one thing I have learned is that these days are rare. The days where things go perfect and your heart is so overwhelmed with happiness that you can’t help being joyful and shouting praises to God. Although these days may be rare, having joy doesn’t have to be.
Philippians 4:4 says, “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”
Scripture tells us that we are to always be full of joy in the Lord. But how can we do that when most days just seem to drag on? When things don’t go well and you are worn out and frustrated? How can we be FULL of joy?
I want to share with you 5 Ways to Be Full of Joy:
- Be Thankful – Many times gratitude translates into joy. If we are thankful for the things God has given us, we can have a positive attitude and rejoice in all the good He has done for us. Even in the things that may seem tedious like laundry or dishes, we can be glad for the bodies to fill the clothes and the fact that we have food to put on our plates. Thank you, Lord, for so many blessings! “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
- Meditate on Joy Often – Many of you may have heard the common phrase “what you think about you bring about”. This hold true in anything, especially joy. If we want to experience joy on a daily basis, we need to think about it on a daily basis. Joy, much like most emotions, is a choice. We can choose joy. So every morning wake up and say to yourself, “Today, I choose joy.”
- Have a Little Fun – Some days I feel like I am way too serious. While there is a time and a place to be serious, it doesn’t have to be every second of every day. Take some time to have a little fun. Goof off with your children if you have any or grab a friend and watch a silly movie and laugh. En(joy) life!
- Give Joy To Others – We all need a little help in this world. Therefore, if we are wanting to use our joy as gift, make sure to give to others. Give a smile and share some happiness with a friend or co-worker. Joy doubles when we share it!
- Spend Time With God – I saved the best for last here, friends. If we want to experience joy every single day of our life we need to spend time with our Father. God’s character is full of joy and it’s one of the fruit of the Spirit. If we want to be full of joy no matter the circumstance, we must spend time with God and allow Him to change our hearts. I want my heart to be less hard and fuller of love and joy.
I pray that together if we follow these steps, we can be full of joy every day. Joy is an emotion and a lifestyle God wants us to lead every single day. He gave it to us as a gift and asks that we always rejoice in Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the emotion of joy. Please help me to be joyful in every circumstance for this is a day you have given me. Please change my heart to be a heart of joy and to spread it on to others. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Discussion: What other ways have you found to be full of joy? Please feel free to comment below.
Memory Verse: “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” Philippians 4:4.
This post is part of my series for April called “Evolving Emotionally”. We will be spending the month of April taking an emotion and seeing what God has to say about it. Join us on Tuesdays and Fridays as we go on the journey of emotions together. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe via email!