How to Have Joy in Any Circumstance

How to Have Joy in Any Circumstance

Guest Post by Gina of GinaMPoirier.com

It isn't always easy to choose joy. Here is how to have joy in any circumstance.“I just feel like I’ve lost my joy,” she told me one day over coffee and a few tears. “And as a Christian, I feel horrible about that.”

My friend was in the situation many of us find ourselves in: taking care of kids (or something else) and trying to keep our acts together while we’re exhausted, overwhelmed and downright cranky about all. And to top it all off, we feel guilty for not being more joyful.

I wish I could have told her the magic formula, something like prayer + Bible study = joy. And there have certainly been times when I have naively thought it should be that simple.

But in response I simply gave her a hug and maybe cried a little myself. Because in truth, life is hard. Joy isn’t always an automatic response just because you’re a Christian.

Yet on the other hand, the Bible does instruct us to rejoice always, in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I mean really, God? (He says yes, really.)

So how, exactly, do we have more joy, even when life is really, really tough?

I’ll try to handle this carefully, since I truly don’t think there’s a formula. But here are a few things I like to remember that help my own heart feel more joy when the circumstances bring anything but.

Related: How to Trust God’s Plan for Your Life

 

1. Look to Jesus

 

I don’t know about you, but a lot of times when I’m dealing with my not-so-joyful emotions I fall into a thought pattern that goes something like this: this is too hard, and nobody understands what I’m going through.

That’s one of the hardest things about pain and suffering: sometimes it does make you feel isolated. Proverbs 14:10 says, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” But the good news is that there is actually one person who does “get it.”

Hebrews 4:14–16 say that Jesus empathizes with our weaknesses and was tempted in every way we are. And as our friend he gets us and is there for us, and wants to show us the way through our pain (John 15:15).

So in other words, take your pain to Jesus. Pray to him; confess your weaknesses and ask for help. Study his life and his words, that it may increase your faith (Romans 10:17). Sing to him. Meditate on his promises.

Having said that, God is not a genie and doesn’t magically turn your emotions off and on whenever you ask. But I believe he’s the way I must turn when I’m hurting, if I want to heal.

 

2. Fill Your Mind with Truth

 

I’m fascinated with the human brain, and I’m even more fascinated by the fact that the Bible supports a lot of what modern psychology has discovered. In particular, we have the power to change the structure of our brains by redirecting our thoughts.

If you’re in the habit of negativity and toxic thinking, your thought patterns will continue down those well-trodden paths (you literally can get into “ruts.”) But if you are more conscious about what you’re putting your mind to, you will change the way you think.

Scripture supports this (Philippians 4:8, for starters), and Brittany has some great suggestions here: Want to Take Every Thought Captive? It’s Easier Than You Think!

I’ve found that copying Bible verses and memorizing them is a way to keep my mind focused on what is true. (Want some suggestions? Check out the printables I offer.)

Another way to fill your mind with truth is through habitual gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal is a scientifically supported, biblical way to rewire your brain for joy.

 

3. Reach Out for Help

 

When I think of some of the toughest times in my life, I don’t know how I would have gotten through without the support of the body of Christ. And few things make me smile more than thinking about those who have been there for me when I’ve needed them.

When a part of your physical body gets hurt, other parts of it provide healing by delivering the oxygen and immune support it needs. It’s the same way in the church (1 Corinthians 12:21–26). We need each other through good times and bad, to help us heal and grow through our trials and weaknesses.

I’m guilty of being extremely independent through my pain and struggles, as I think a lot of us are. We come to the church putting our best foot forward, when it should be the other way around.

I’m not saying you should go to worship service a weeping mess all the time, but I challenge you to be bold in your vulnerability. Meet with mentors and peers who can cry with you over coffee, watch your kids so you can rest, celebrate your victories and pray with you through your trials. And if you don’t have these people in your life, go find them. Pray for God to lead you to them.

Related: 3 Truths to Remember When Battling Mom Loneliness

 

4. Let the Holy Spirit Do His Work

 

It occurred to me recently as I was thinking about this that joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). Here’s the thing about fruit: it doesn’t appear magically. It takes time and cultivation.

Jesus is the vine, the Father is the Gardener and we are the branches that bear fruit through the work of the Holy Spirit (John 15:1–8). There have been times when I’ve been impatient and even felt guilty because the joy simply wasn’t there when I thought it should be.

But if joy is like fruit, then that means that it will take time to grow into maturity. It will be more plentiful in some seasons than others. And at times we need to be pruned in order to produce more.

We may not fully understand this process, but we don’t have to. All we have to do is stay in the vine (the steps listed above are some practical ways that help with this), and God will grow the fruit.

 

I don’t know what your circumstances are, but I do know what the Bible says about working through them. And I believe that given time, you’ll find the joy that God calls us all to.

Article Credit: equippinggodlywomen.com

 

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FREE Scrapbooking Supplies?

FREE Scrapbooking Supplies?

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They Call Themselves Christians

They Call Themselves Christians

If we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

II Timothy 2:12 NKJV

Soldiers in the Roman army identified themselves with their generals by adding the suffix -ian at the end of the general’s name. Therefore, a Caesarian soldier would be a solider serving under Caesar. In Latin, the word ian means “the party of.” In the early church in Antioch, people began to call followers of Christ Christians, though the use of the name was likely said at first in the spirit of mockery. However, the name stuck and soon believers also began to call themselves Christians, happily adding the suffix to the end of Christ’s name to indicate that they were with Jesus. Early Christians joyfully sent a message to the world that they were followers of Christ, though the message cost many of them their lives. A believer’s life begins at the altar where we surrender our nothing for everything, and sometimes ends on another altar, where believers are forced to decide whether to sacrifice everything for nothing. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24:15 KJV).

FAITH CHECK

If you knew that openly announcing to the world that you are a Christian would cost you your job, your standing in the community, or your very life, would you call yourself a Christian?

Article Credit: Linda Kozar by way of Dayspring.com

Hello Dear Friends,

Such great encouragement this day!!

Prayers,

k

Beach and Water….

Beach and Water….

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With no further adieu, enjoy!!!

k

 

10 Prayers to Pray Over Your Husband

10 Prayers to Pray Over Your Husband

10 Prayers to Pray Over Your Husband

Sep 3, 2017 by Rachel Wojo

Do you spend time each day praying for your husband? Determining what prayers to pray over your husband can be an eye-opening experience. Years ago, I decided to consistently pray for my husband. While that sounds really mature and wonderful, the choice was a selfish endeavor, though I thought I was being helpful. In my immaturity, I wanted a few things to change in my marriage and so I called on the Lord to change them. Funny how I discovered the one who needed to change was ME! Ever been there?

Through God’s work in my heart, I discovered the importance of praying for my husband and the power of praying for him. Over the years, God has shown me his work in my marriage through prayer time and time again. Prayer is a life-changing, uninterrupted connection to our heavenly Father and oh how he loves to hear his children pray! Check out these 10 prayers to pray over your husband using God’s Word.

  1. Pray for his work.

“Lord, I pray that You would bless my husband’s work. That he would be diligent and prosperous. That You would give him wisdom and discernment. God, I pray You would give him strength to walk the opportunities you provide. Thank you, Lord.”

Do you see a person skilled in his work? He will stand in the presence of kings. He will not stand in the presence of the unknown. Proverbs 22:29 CSB

  1. Pray for his heart, soul, and mind.

“Father, I praise You for my husband, Your unique creation. Please guard his heart and mind, Jesus. Protect him from temptation and fill him up with the good things he needs. You’ve promised to fill his soul with what he needs and I ask You to do just that.”

For he has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9 CSB

  1. Pray for healing from the past.

“God, would You heal the wounds of my husband’s heart? You’ve promised healing to those who submit to You. Lord, please smooth the scars of past hurts and brokenness. May Your healing permeate his being, inside and out.”

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for you are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14 CSB

  1. Pray for courage.

“Lord, You are gracious and merciful, yet You are all-powerful and understanding. This world can be a fearful place and I pray that You would give my husband courage. Lord, infuse his character with courage for daily decisions and the difficult ones as well.”

The fear of the Lord leads to life; one will sleep at night without danger. Proverbs 19:23 CSB

  1. Pray for his leadership.

“God, You have provided Your Word and I am so grateful. May Your Word guide my husband as the leader of our home. May his leadership skills be empowered by your wisdom. I trust that You will lead in his hand and heart in our relationship, his work, our home, community and church.”

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him. James 1:5 CSB

  1. Pray for wisdom in finances.

“Lord, money yields the greatest potential to cause problems in a home. Please give my husband wisdom as he seeks to honor You with finances. I praise You for the blessings You’ve provided and I pray that You would help him, help us, to always honor You first.”

Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you. Hebrews 13:5 CSB

  1. Pray for a heart for the Lord.

“Father, please give my husband a pure heart for You. May he seek to love You and trust You with everything he has and is. Protect him from opinions intended to sway him from Your Word.”

Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart. Ephesians 6:6 CSB

  1. Pray for his speech.

“Father, in a day when the world speaks with complete corruption, keep my husband’s words pure before You. I pray that he would use his words just as You would have him to. I praise You for his personality and pray for purposeful conversations in our marriage.”

No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 CSB

  1. Pray for his friendships.

“Lord, I pray that You would provide encouraging friendships for my husband. That he would know he is never alone because You are with him, but I ask for others to speak into his life and sharpen him as he sharpens them.”

Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 CSB

  1. Pray for your husband to be a good father.

“God, I thank You that You are the good, good Father. Would you help my husband’s parenting to reflect You? May his children know Your heavenly love personally and experience it through their earthly father.”

Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 CSB

This list of 10 Scripture-based prayers is a perfect place to start exploring how to pray for your husband. If you know someone struggling or feeling disconnected in their marriage, share these powerful prayers with them and use this article to encourage their hearts. If you know someone who longs to strengthen her marriage and build up her husband,these prayers would be the perfect tool to do so!

Visual reminders of my praying intentions are always a bonus and if that’s you too, check out the You + Me gift collection for beautiful inspiration to pray for your husband. This collection, inspired by The 5 Love Languages, comes with sticky prayerscouples’ coupon bookcorrespondent cards, and love notes. You could also take your prayer encouragement another step by giving your husband one of these beautiful “You’ve been prayed for…” cards.

Article credit: Dayspring.com

 

Weekly Verses…

Weekly Verses…

Monday
I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
For Christians, God’s temple is one of two related things: either the Christian’s body (1 Cor. 6:19-20) or the group of people who make up his Church (1 Cor. 3:16). Because of the flaws of the people in our churches, many are hypercritical of them. But God’s Church is precious to him and should be to us. Anyone who destroys his church through division will be utterly destroyed. God’s faithfulness to his people is seen in his preservation of the Church through all the ravages and persecutions of history. But God is still the center of the Church and he alone is to be exalted and the Church is still to be governed by his word and not just their own will.
MY PRAYER…
Holy and matchless God, I praise you for your steadfast love and faithfulness revealed in the preseveration of your Church through all of history. I promise to cherish your Church and do all I can to help it grow and mature to be more like Jesus, but I recognize that you and you alone are to be exalted above all other things and that my church must never be more important than your will revealed in your word. Give me the courage to be true to you even if my church may not be. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Tuesday
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Of all the names for God in the Bible, this is my favorite: Him who is able to do immeasurably more. Our God is the same God who parted the Red Sea and fed 5,000 on a green hillside with only a couple of sardine sandwiches. He longs to do more than we ask and imagine, but most of us haven’t really given him much of a challenge. Dream big dreams for God. Then hang on!
MY PRAYER…
Almighty and awesome God, do in our day what you did in past days. Give us faith to believe and then amaze us at the smallness of our faith. Give us vision to see your plan and do greater things. We ask this, not for ourselves or our experience, but for your glory and the salvation of our world. In Jesus name. Amen.
Wednesday
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
God made the world in 6 days. Now he sustains it with his powerful word. But in each of us, he is still at work and will continue to work to his glory (seePhilippians 2:12-13) until Christ comes to take us home!
MY PRAYER…
Thank you Father, for being at work in my life. I confess that at times you seem distant, but looking back over the crucial moments where things were held in the balance, I can see your fingerprints and your grace leading me to where I am today. Please make your presence more powerfully known in my life as I seek your will and live to your glory. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Thursday
Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
In the immense expanse of our universe, with its billions upon billions of stars, where our own tiny blue planet is only a small speck of sand on an inestimable seashore, God knows us each personally. Such knowledge it too wonderful to be true, and yet it is. God has shown us his love in Jesus to remind us that he not only knows us, but he cares for us.
MY PRAYER…
O Great God of the heavens, thank you for caring for me even though I am such a small part of your great work in the universe. Your love is beyond my comprehension, and yet it thrills me to know that in your grace one day I will see you face-to-face. Through Jesus I praise you. Amen.
Friday
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Like Esau, we get so diverted by the mundane things of life, the growling of our bellies, we forget the longer-range view of things. God’s word, his written word the Bible, his demonstrated Word in Jesus, and his proclaimed word in the Gospel, are what can sustain us eternally.
MY PRAYER…
True and Faithful God, through your Holy Spirit create in me a hunger for your word that is much more demanding of life than my hunger for food. I confess that at times I have been distracted by the mundane things of life and have not sought your word and have not nourished my soul. Please forgive me as I pledge myself to be more attentive to your leading and your truth through your word. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Saturday
God exalted him (Jesus) to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
When Jesus is exalted, when his name is praised and his glory confessed, rather than being insulted or blasphemed, God is honored. Praise be the glorious name of Jesus and the grace of our God!
MY PRAYER…
Precious Savior, Jesus Christ my Lord, your name is wonderful! Your sacrifice for my sin was so loving and generous. I am so thankful that our Father raised you from the dead and that through you I will be able to be with God and worship you all of eternity! You are glorious, Jesus my Lord!
Sunday
(Jesus said) “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Love is not just a feeling, but it is action. For us as believers, the action that most shows our love for Jesus is for us to be obedient to his words and his example.
MY PRAYER…
Father, thank you for showing your love in Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, for showing us how to love our Father by being obedient to his will and word. Today I pledge to conciously try to live in obedience to your will. Please receive my actions, words, and thoughts today as an offering of praise to you. In Jesus name. Amen.
Weekly Verses…

Weekly Verses…

Monday
Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds — his name is the Lord — and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
I can’t help but think of what James, Jesus’ brothers said: “Pure religion, undefiled before God the Father is this: keep oneself undefiled and care for orphans and widows in their distress.” Jesus showed clearly this was the Father’s heart in his ministry. Now it is up to us to continue it!
MY PRAYER…
Father, may my life, my compassion, and my ministry reflect your heart for those who need care and protection and love. Give me eyes to see this need more clearly and a heart to responded more certainly so that your love may be demonstrated through me. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Tuesday
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Mothers have such an inside road with children that it is interesting that God commands fathers to be about the work of spiritual nurture. I don’t believe he means to exclude mothers. No, I think he assumes they’ll do their part. But the father’s influence and intentional training is so essential.
MY PRAYER…
Abba Father, may my children come to find you in me. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Wednesday
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
For husbands, there is sacrificial love in our purpose and purpose in our sacrifice. We give up ourselves to love our wives. But Jesus is the example here, and he gave up everything. His purpose? Simply to make us holy. Our motives are to be equally as sacrificial and pure in surrendering our rights to bless and love our wives.
MY PRAYER…
Holy God, help our families to be full of love and may it begin with me, today. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Thursday
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his very soul?
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
We chase after so many different things. Only one thing is needed. Having a fist full of dollars, a great estate, and lots of prestige doesn’t mean a whole lot if you’ve gone to your ultimate address without the Lord. Even worse, is to find that in the middle of your busy-ness, you awake to find yourself in the barren land where Christ does not dwell and life is not found.
MY PRAYER…
Father, help me to keep my priorities right and my life holy and my heart open to your will rather than being blinded with my own self-seeking. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Friday
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
How good it is to be as close to God as his shadow and share in the comfort of his shelter. He is not far if our hearts choose to draw near him.
MY PRAYER…
O great Almighty God, tender Shepherd and Abba Father, make known to me your nearness. I long to live in your presence and reflect your holiness and grace. By Jesus’ blood I draw near to you in full assurance of your love and grace. Amen.
Saturday
The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Our lives are not lived alone. The Lord is with us personally. He holds each of futures and our safety in his hands. We live to serve him and go to be with him when we die. The Lord will keep us from all harm!
MY PRAYER…
Mighty Protector, Rock of my salvation. Thank you that my future is secure with you. Make this assurance the convicting power in my life to turn over my future and my life to you. Through Jesus I ask this. Amen.
Sunday
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and will not be faint.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
It is easy for us to live victoriously for the Lord when we soar on eagles wings. It can be exciting when we run and don’t grow weary in the work of the Lord, buoyed by his power and presence. But it often takes heroes to keep walking and not faint when trying times come. Keep on walking, brother and sister. The Lord is there when you most fear he has forgotten you!
MY PRAYER…
Majestic God, whose voice holds together our universe, give those who can barely walk under the stress and assault the strength to continue. I specifically want to pray for those I know personally who are facing trying times. Please, dear LORD, give them strength and meet their most pressings needs. Through the intercession of Jesus I ask it. Amen.
Devotional credit: Oneplace.com