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Even in the hardest times we can find joy by Tina Y. Gerber

Joy is both a gift of God as well as a response. One of the keys to joy is living in obedience to God. It is important to dwell on God, and not focus on the difficulties or the negative emotions! I often reflect on Philippians 4:4-8. “Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is nearby. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Joy is meant to be the hallmark of the Christian Life. We need to focus on the truth of who God is, commune with Him through prayer and with a community of believers. Spend time with positive people and remember to laugh more.

Everyone wants to be happy. Practising gratitude is an important path to joy and happiness. If you’re struggling to find joy, start looking today, this very moment for things to be grateful for. Joy can be like a breath of fresh air. Everyone, including you, can change your life’s direction or squeeze a little more joy out of an already joyful life! You can bring joy into your day with physical activities, such as, walking with or without your dog, cycling, gardening, or tennis. Staying active adds joy and years to your life. Exercising releases endorphins, and endorphins stimulate happiness.

Create a quiet place, for reading, prayer or meditating; or like, sometimes for myself, I enjoy doing the dishes, (shhhh, don’t tell my husband!) In these simple moments you can commune with the “God of all joy.” Let the stress of the day go, stay in the present moment, and you will be able to find opportunities to be happy. and replace the stress with joy and calmness.

Sometimes, a quick fix, is to change up your routine. Indulge in your five senses of taste, smell, touch, seeing and listening. Who doesn’t enjoy the laughter of children or the opportunity or of helping someone in need?

It is up to you to make a decision to make yourself happy. Seek out and focus on joy, make a conscious effort to change your life. Love yourself and accept who you are, quirks and all; and make a practise of doing this for others too. Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and a gift from God. Appreciate the small things, looking for meaning in your life and remember to count your Blessings. You will find it a great day.!

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