I love to be happy, don't you? Christians should be the happiest people on the planet. After all, the Kingdom of Heaven is righteousness, peace, and JOY (Romans 14:17), and JOY is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
As they say out at Bethel Church, seriousness is NOT a fruit of the Spirit! 🙂
But how can you add joy to your life if you don't feel particularly joyful? Here are the top 6 things I have done that have brought me great joy. Try some or all of them and I believe you'll see your joy increase exponentially too!
1. Get in the presence of God.
Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Soaking in the presence of God is the Numero Uno thing I do to bring me joy. In God's presence, I smile and laugh and get as happy as can be. Everything else fades away. Jesus just makes me so happy.
If you need a joy infusion, put on a great worship CD (get my free worship and soaking music downloads here) and focus on Jesus. Release your cares to Him and let the Holy Spirit fill you with joy. There's nothing like the presence of God!
2. Be thankful.
I have so much to be thankful for, and so do you. No matter what your situation in life is right now, you still have things to be thankful for. For example, even if you don't like your job, you can be thankful you're not in a soup line somewhere. If you are in a soup line somewhere, you can be thankful for the soup. It's really all about choosing to be thankful.
And by the way, what you thank God for will increase in your life. So whatever you want more of, thank God for the portion of it you already have. It's a little-known Kingdom principle: to him who has, more will be given. 🙂 Thank God for what you have, and you'll get more of it.
3. Set goals.
So much of my joy comes from watching God make my dreams and goals come true. It thrills me beyond description to see Him work on my behalf, bless me, and open new doors of opportunity.
But how would I notice God making my dreams come true if I didn't have any dreams? How could I notice Him helping me accomplish my goals if I had no goals?
That's why God said in Habukkuk 2:2:
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.“
I believe that one of the most important things you can ever do is to write down your life vision and a list of life goals. Then, write weekly and yearly goals to support your vision and goals. It will make all the difference in the world.
After you have a list of goals and dreams, not only does time management become a lot simpler, but you'll get excited every time you reach a goal or get to cross something off your life list. Yay! Excitement! Bring it on!
4. Turn off the TV.
I love watching TV. Put a remote in my hand and give me NatGeo or the History Channel, and you might as well kiss me goodbye. It's bad. My eyes glaze over, and there's probably drool. 🙂
But I made the decision last year to turn off the TV. I was at a crossroads. I only had so much time in a day, and God was offering me the opportunities to blog, write, lead worship, and teach and preach the Word. These things are my destiny, and I had to make a choice. TV was sucking away my time.
So I chose my destiny over TV.
No matter what kind of TV shows you watch, I really encourage you to evaluate your TV time. There's very little on TV that will help you add joy to your life, and there's a whole LOT on TV that will suck your joy away! Think about it. If you didn't watch TV, you'd have more time for things you love; more time for things that bring you joy; and less bad news in your life.
It's a decision that only you can make. But I can say that turning off the TV has been one of the best decisions I've ever made.
5. Read inspiring books.
Read books that feel like they were written just for you. Read books that will spur you on in your faith. Read books that will help you reach your dreams.
If you need a place to start, read Mark Batterson's “The Circle Maker” (Amazon affiliate link). You can also get “The Circle Maker” on Kindle here (affiliate). This one book restored my joy, hope, and vision for the future after a long period of frustration last year. Please read it!
Reading inspiring books will take your faith to a whole new level. Inspiring books will open your eyes to possibilities in life you never dreamed of.
Inspiring books are joy machines!
6. Have fun!
We've got to have good, godly, fun entertainment. If you don't already have one, find a FUN hobby and do it at least once every few weeks!
I love to watch cheesy, low-budget chick flicks on Netflix. You know, the movies about princesses and ponies that were intended for 10-year-olds. 🙂 So once every couple of weeks, usually on a Sunday afternoon, I'll watch one of those. They tickle me.
I also love music. Getting together with friends and playing music is so much fun for me. I do that almost every week by leading worship at the healing rooms and playing in the orchestra. These things bring me great joy.
If you don't have fun in your life, please change that! Find SOMETHING that's clean and fun and just do it! It will bring a grin to your face.
Those are six of the biggest things I do to add joy to my life. What about you? What do you do that brings you joy? Please share your ideas in the comments so everybody can benefit. Thanks!