Hey friends, how are you today? How was your week? Our weather has been all over the place; with frigid, subzero temperatures and windchills, to above normal temperature with rain. The only consistency has been the lack of sunshine. This week alone, we have had rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow and its only Friday. Presently, it is 27°[Fahrenheit) with quickly falling temperatures throughput the day. But hey, isn’t our topic today on ‘Joyful Living’?
Is there joy to be found in times like these? Well yes… if I could stay at home in my robe and PJs all day with Netflix, a book and coffee to keep me company. Of course, it would also bring me quite a bit of joy, if the elves would make me some clam chowder after which they would clean the house and complete the laundry while they’re there. Ahh yes… perfect days (my computer thought I wanted the word ‘daydream’i wonder why?). Life happens, doesn’t it, friends?
But unfortunately, this is not my story today. I must leave the house today and be outside for a bit (at this time, I accept every sympathetic thought and prayer that is presently on the way, thank you). I have come to the conclusion that joyful living depends on me. (noooooo!). But yes… it’s true. Erwin G. Tieman says; “Nothing influences the quality of life more than how we respond to trouble”.
In other words, troubles are inevitable; although I can pray for a sunny 85° or even a sunny 74° or perhaps a sunny 50° will do (note the word ‘sunny’ keeps coming up) the truth is more than likely by the day’s end we will be approaching the single digits.
How can I experience joy in times like these? Well, here are three simple steps.
- Spend time with the Lord. Stay in His Word and talk to Him about the happenings in our lives. I know we’ve heard this a thousand times before; but absolute joy is found in the presence of the God of the universe. There we are assured of His love, His forgiveness, His faithfulness, His grace, and His mercy.
- Trust His Word. Take the Lord at His Word, He is not a man that He should lie. There is no deceit found in Him. He is trustworthy and He is dependable.
- Pray for ourselves, sometimes we focus only on the problems. I want warmer temperatures with oodles and oodles of sunshine. Though what I need more is a better attitude to accept my present reality, even if nothing changes. If joyful living depends on me then I must be willing to change my thinking. Troubles will come, but my God is unshakable, unmovable. He is my Anchor, my Source of strength. He is always good.
That’s it friends, that’s the key to joyful living. Everything else brings temporary joy. At the consignment store this week, I bought this beautiful Swarovski bracelet and a gorgeous two-piece Calvin Klein jogger set (I will show you next week). Although I am quite happy with my purchases, too soon I will be onto the next thing. My joy cannot be found there. Although I love my family to bits and I am loved by them, there are days when they are the source of my troubles, I need Someone bigger. My joy can’t be found in them.
My joy is in the Lord. When I remember that and surrender my will over to the Him, then and only then will I experience true joy.
What do you do to experience joy?