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How to Choose Joy in the Tough Times

Did you know that God’s joy is inside you? If you’re going through a difficult season, you might be thinking, “Yeah that sounds nice, but I’m not having it.” Even though there are a lot of challenges in all of our lives, it’s possible to live with joy. As a matter of fact, if you read Nehemiah 8, we discover that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” When the days are dark and overwhelming, we can still make a conscious decision to choose joy. If you don’t know how to begin to shift your mindset, afternoon host Jeff Loman has a few good ideas for you. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it to release control, forgive, and remember God’s love. 

CHOOSE JOY BY RELEASING CONTROL

release control to choose joy

First, stop trying to figure everything out. We like to control every little thing, thinking we’ve got some level of power over our lives. But the truth is, we have next to no control whatsoever. But the good news is that your Creator and loving Father is in full control. And He’s worthy to be trusted with whatever life throws at you.

Trust in the Lord, with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding in all your ways, acknowledge him, he will make your paths straight.

When you’ve no idea what the next day holds, you can still choose joy by tossing out your own expectations and leaning on the Lord. Lay the fear and uncertainty at His feet and stroll down the path he sets before you with trust and confidence.

RELATED: 3 Reasons to Surrender Control, Let God Take Charge

CHOOSE JOY BY FORGIVING

choose joy by forgiving

It’s also important to forgive, and do so quickly. When we hold on to unforgiveness, it keeps us in an angry state, negatively impacting our hearts and minds. Instead of wallowing in a hateful grudge, we can let the Lord restore joy to our lives when we forgive as He forgave us.

And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

The Bible is filled with all kinds of reminders about the mercy of God. When we understand how undeserving we are of His mercy poured out on us, we can more easily extend that mercy to others. Letting go of the pain and anger opens our hands to receive the joy that the Lord wants to give us.

CHOOSE JOY BY REMEMBERING GOD’S LOVE DAILY

choose joy by remembering God's love

Finally, it’s important to remind yourself every single day that God does indeed love you. If you’re struggling in that area, you don’t feel very lovable right now, simply start every day by speaking out life-giving truths from his word like, “God loves me. He paid a high price for me so I could have a relationship with him.” We can choose joy when we remember what He says about us instead of the lies the enemy constantly throws at us.

Next time you read your Bible, look for a truth statement you can cling to for encouragement. Write it out somewhere you can see it daily. Or you can also check out this list of 11 Biblical Affirmations to Start Your Day from Crosswalk.com.

WHAT ELSE GIVES YOU JOY?

What do you do to choose joy every day? Is it a verse you lean on? A song you listen to? Tell us about it in the comments!

CECE WINANS' "I'VE GOT JOY"

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