These 4 things, if you do them every day, will raise your level of joy, lower your level of stress and frustration and raise your level of purpose and significance.
First, learn to GIVE THANKS every day.
We think that once we experience joy, then we will be thankful, but the truth is, when we are thankful, joy is the byproduct.
Being thankful does not necessarily change our outside circumstances, but it does change our attitude and our perspective at how we look at things.
Experts say that practicing regular gratitude can change the way our brain neurons fire into more positive automatic patterns.
Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”
Show me a person who practices gratitude, and I will show you a hopeful and joyful person.
Show me an ungrateful person, and I will show you someone you want to avoid.
William Arthur Ward wrote, “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you?”
The psalmist wrote, “Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”
Make a list of all the things you are thankful for. Read them every day. Thank God for them every day. Tell the ones who are on your list how thankful you are for them. Read Psalm 100 every day.
Second, learn to practice CONFESSING YOUR SINS to God daily.
We were not made to carry the weight of our mistakes.
It robs us of energy, it leads to depression and it can beat down our souls.
David wrote in the Psalms, “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. …My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Our bodies were not designed to hold on to sin.
Confession is God’s gift to us.
David goes on to say, “Finally I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. … And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone”
Another part of confession is having someone in your life who you can share your sins with. This person is someone who is safe, confidential and wants what is best for you.
In the New Testament James wrote, “When we confess our sins to another human being, it brings healing to our minds, hearts and bodies.”
Practice this confessional prayer from Psalm 51 each day:
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Third, learn to CRY OUT TO GOD every day.
We all have fears, dreams, frustrations, questions and hurts that are swimming around in our soul.
Holding on to them can lead to all types of strange emotions and dysfunctions.
It is cathartic to tell God every day how you are feeling and what you are thinking about.
And you don’t need a filter with God.
You can tell God everything! The good, bad and the ugly.
It is interesting to me that David who was known as a “man after God’s own heart” wrote a lot of the psalms which I consider the original blues.
David in one moment was telling God how great He was, and the next moment was yelling at God for abandoning him.
One moment he was thanking God for his faithfulness, the next moment doubting if God would come through during difficult times.
I encourage you to read the psalms and learn from David.
I encourage you to talk to God more honestly throughout the day.
Tell Him your fears, frustrations and dreams.
Find a secluded, safe place to be unfiltered with Him.
Watch your energy and clarity increase.
C. John Miller says, “Honest prayer unmasks your real need and puts you in the presence of a rich Christ who wants to meet you as you really are.”
Fourth, I would encourage you to be a DEFENDER OF THE POOR every day.
Psalm 82 instructs us to, “Give justice to the poor and the orphan;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.”
You can do this in large and small ways.
The key is to look for opportunities.
Jesus said that offering food, clothing, shelter, water, fighting for justice and visiting the sick and imprisoned is where you meet Jesus.
Imagine what your life would look and feel like if you met Jesus every day.
No wonder Jesus said that we are happier and more blessed when we are giving rather than receiving.
He also said that what we have been freely given(Grace), we should in return freely give away(Grace).
I encourage you to try these 4 things every day for a few weeks and see how your life changes.
I would love to here your responses!
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