Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). With each sunrise, God's mercies are fresh, new and rejuvenating (Lamentations 3:22-24). This is true whether we are in the midst of a hail storm of trials, or free of all worry and stress.
God sends us hugs throughout every single day: the alignment of numbers on the digital clock, a new flower in our garden, the sunrise and set, a formation in the clouds, a stranger's smile, an unexpected check in the mail, our neighbor's manicured lawn and flowerbeds, etc.
We can even create positive experiences for our self, our mate and our children to enjoy throughout the day - refreshing treats that minister to the body and soul.
Rather than listening to the negative self-talk in our mind, programmed there by Satan's lies and people in our past, we can look in the mirror and tell our soul what we like about our self - our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual assets.
We can give joy away if we smile at a stranger, make a new friend, start a new ministry, and practice encouraging others. This brings joy to our soul as well as theirs. Here are other ideas.
Plan the menu for the week full of your favorite foods. Take a break from your perpetual diet and eat a pizza full of toppings you enjoy, and indulge in one soft drink that was your favorite as a child.
Adopting a pet gives us a focus outside of our self and saves the life of an abused or unwanted animal. Write cards or letters, emails and make phone calls to shut-ins, neglected family members and those in the hospital.
Starting a new hobby that we have always wanted to try or auditing an interesting class at the local college improves our soul. Listening to uplifting music in the comfort of our recliner or even dancing around the house as we dust will still our troubled soul.
We can take time to lay flat in silence on the couch or bed and take deep breaths - this releases much needed endorphins and oxygen into our bloodstream.
Watching a comedy on TV or in a movie will help us to laugh and lighten our mood. Spending time in nature, walking through the grass in bare feet or gardening will help us to connect with the beneficial chemical output of the earth.
Think of your own ways to enhance the joy in your life. We can even start a support group with "Secret Santa's", prayer partners to share our burdens, and Bible study groups in our neighborhood. The list is endless.
Father God, too often we allow Satan to drown us in the worries, stress and burdens in life. We forget that You are our burden bearer and our Provider. You sustain us through good times and bad. You encourage us with Your Word and by Your Spirit. You teach us to encourage one another.
Remind us that Your Spirit abides within us with constant words of love and affirmation, and Your Word is full of verses written by people who experienced similar circumstances to our own. Your Word is a light to our path and a lamp for our feet (Psalm 119:105). We love you with all of our body, spirit and soul - our feelings, choices and emotions.
Thought for the Day:
Our positive, Christ-centered focus initiates the joy, strength, inspiration and creativity in our life, which all come from God's Holy Spirit within us.