Finding Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

James 1:2 

It seems silly to look at harder times with joy.  Or when you fail as a way of happiness. 

 

How about when you fall into the devil’s temptation and have a lapse of good judgment? 

 

When you lose your temper and holler at someone, then 10 minutes later after you’ve calmed down you regret your actions.

 

How do you feel “joy” for times like these?

 

It took me a long time, and I still forget almost every day (yes I still make HUGE mistakes everyday) to figure out how to find JOY in EVERYTHING.

 

The key for me is to smile, then pray.

 

By smiling I force myself to be happy for a second.  

 

Then while that is going on I thank God for the situation that I am in. 

 

Let’s say that I fail, things aren’t going as well as I wanted them to go, by smiling I make my mind think for a split second, “hey what’s wrong with this picture, aren’t we supposed to be upset.”

 

Then before my mind has a chance to figure out that it’s really a facade, I pray.

 

I thank God for allowing this to happen so that I could learn.  Then I ask him to help me actually learn this time instead of having to make the same mistake over and over again. 

 

Until finally I learn or something breaks.

 

Here’s what it does.  It allows me to forgive myself for whatever might have happened.  If I made a HUGE mistake (like I always do) I can start the healing process internally.  

 

If my mistakes involve others, which they most always do, then it allows me to go to them and ask for forgiveness. (which can be EXTREMELY difficult, no one likes eating crow.)

 

When trials come my way, I used to fret and worry about them for days, weeks, months, and even years.  

 

Now I paste on my smile, thank God for the opportunities that he is giving to me, and go forward at full strength.

Prayer

God today we come to you to thank you for everything that you give to us.  We thank you for the hard times, the great times, and the times where we seem to be “just” surviving.  Help us to find joy in every occasion and every situation that you allow us to move into.  We know that when we are facing tribulations that you are helping us to grow.  We know that you are always preparing us to move in the direction you NEED us to move.  God, you are amazing.  We talk about a 30,000 foot view of things (where we elevate ourselves to see the big picture).  Well you have a 10 mile (or even more) view of our lives, and we are grateful for that.  So God we hope that you know how much we appreciate your guidance and wisdom that you give to us.  We are grateful for the harder times because they shape us into the people you NEED us to be tomorrow.  Thank you for helping us to throw a smile on and tell the world just how amazing you really are. God we pray that you help us to have the courage to share your works and words with the world every day!  Please be with everyone and help us to grow your ministry in ways that we could never imagine.

Amen

Will you pray with us?

Mankind throughout the world throughout our current situation

All Law enforcement and emergency response personnel

For all military personal serving our country and their families

Those in Leadership positions throughout the world