A Joyful Life
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).
Our society has achieved a point of technological advancement that was unthinkable a mere 10-20 years ago. In the Western world, we have freedoms of speech and access to clean drinking water that are unheard of in other countries. All of us, even those barely out of diapers, have smart phones. However, many Americans are without joy and are seeking answers from pharmaceutical companies to the bottom of a beer bottle. I have found a few universal truths that can help bring about joy.
1. Read and BELIEVE God’s Promises
Reading the Bible is a great thing to do. However, you must do your part. James 1:22 reads “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” The Bible is a road map to peace and joy. We should all pray each day for God to remove all that is bad from within us and replace it the light of Christ.
2. Recognize the connection of mental, physical, and spiritual health
Great strides in mental health can be achieved by improving our physical health. My mental health improves after a walk in the woods or by a stream. Nature has a great calming effect. Our mental health can also be improved by focusing on our spiritual health. Studies have shown that people that engage daily with the Word have a better spiritual life. The Bible is a love book from God to us and full of his promises of forgiveness and desires for our happiness.
Even if you don’t feel happy you can think of a happy memory and smile. Smiling has a proven health benefit on your health and happiness. Natural hormones that make us “feel good” are released when we smile. I like the old song “Smile and the whole world smiles back at you.”
4. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Life is hard and we need positive people to yoke up with and support us. Positive people will have a positive effect on you. Eventually, they will be in need of support and it will be a blessing for you to support them. If you are married, communicate with your spouse. The two of you are one body. If half of your body is unhappy, you are unhappy.
5. Guard Your Brain
Focus on positive thoughts. Negative thoughts drain our energy and lead to negatives thoughts and actions. Proverbs 4:23 tells us “More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it.” Life represents happiness and joy that originate in our mind. Negative thoughts of self doubt and worry are tools of Satan and should be rebuked in the name of Jesus.
Always remember that God loves you and walks with you every day. Be blessed.
Prayer: Dear God, Help us to to be thankful not for all circumstances but through all circumstances. May we find our joy in You, and peace knowing that nothing can separate us from Your love. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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