Develop A Joy Workout (1)
Joy is like a muscle; the more you develop it, the stronger it becomes. Here are two exercises to help you develop inner joy:
(1) Try to show more gratitude. ‘Give thanks in all circumstances.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV) Note, it doesn’t say be thankful for all circumstances, but in them. Hans Seyle, known as ‘the father of stress research’, says gratitude produces more emotional energy than any other attitude. So look for more ways to express gratitude. Send a message or make a phone call to someone to tell them how much they have meant in your life.
Remember to express gratitude to God. The psalmist says, ‘With my song I praise Him.’ (Psalm 28:7 NIV) If you’re not naturally a joyful person, start singing praises to God and watch your attitude change.
(2) Look for ways to give. ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35 NIV) Someone has jokingly said, ‘When it comes to giving, many people will stop at nothing.’ What does the Bible show to us? ‘God loves a cheerful giver.’ (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV) Why? Because you are most like God when you give, and He doesn’t give grudgingly. Your giving actually determines how much you receive from God! The Bible says when you give to Him first from your income, not last, He will ‘throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’ (Malachi 3:10 NIV) You cannot out give God.
As the old farmer said, ‘I shovel it into God’s storehouse, and He shovels it into mine—but God has a bigger shovel.’