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Difficult situations in life can deplete us of joy, thus draining us of the strength we need to live. If you’ve lived much of life, it’s likely that you’ve been through something or a number of things that caused you to question. “Why?”
As children, the most simple things can bring us joy. A book read to us by an enthusiastic parent, teacher, or librarian. A toy gifted to you on your birthday that you hold close for the next few years. A snowman made with your siblings on the first snowfall of Winter. The simplest things fill a child with joy.
As we age, we take on responsibilities that sap us of the joy of the simple things. We learn lessons that make life real, and hard. We grow into an understanding that has us realizing that we have to take care of ourselves. Life can be hard!
We as humans have resiliency. We’ve all got the ability to recover from any broken situation. We have our own will to live, we’ve got physical resources around us to draw purpose from, we’ve got a community to draw strength from.
No matter who you are and what your background is, I’m pretty sure you’ve got someone praying for you. It may even be someone who doesn’t know you.
I want to go back to the fact that you have your own will to live. Each of us has inside of us, the will to live and survive whatever situation we’re in. I want to give you some help with that. Maybe you haven’t been taught how to take care of yourself first, or you’re so confused or distraught that you don’t even know where to start. Take baby steps. Create habits that will last the length of your life and help you to get your joy back now.
Create a quiet time.
A quiet time is a time out from daily routine. Time to spend with yourself, reflect, and do something that will connect you with your creator. Some get up early to have quiet time, some stay up late, some carve out time in the middle of the day. Whatever works for you is best. Take this time to plan your schedule, pray, write, read your Bible. The Lord will guide you in this and speak to you as you seek His face. Intimacy with the Lord is created in quiet time. Clarity of mind is created in quiet time.
Here are a couple of devotionals that can help you create intimacy with the Lord and give you direction during your quiet time:
Listen to music. And worship!
Sometimes we focus too much on ourselves. When you go through things, it’s hard not to think about what’s happening around us and some have the tendency to internalize pain or stress. Taking the focus off yourself and focusing on the One who has everything in control will relieve stress and bring joy back into your heart. Choose some good Christian worship music and sing the lyrics in your car. Or at your desk. Or in the bath! Or even gather your kids and dance and sing songs to the Lord in the living room! Praise the Lord for who He is and for how good He is. It’s nice to have headphones when you want to worship in private, or don’t want to disturb someone else.
Here are a couple of good options for headphones:
Keep a journal.
This can also be a part of your quiet time. Or it can be something that you do right before bed, at lunchtime at work, or whenever is best for you. It’s not necessary to write in a journal every day. You can make a point of doing it every few days, once per week, or even just once per month. Write any thoughts or feelings. Write out prayers and Bible verses. Write poetry. Or write out what you’re grateful for. Keeping a journal is great for reflection, dumping negative thoughts, or just for expressing yourself. It’s also great for writing prayers if you’d rather not pray out loud at times.
Here are a couple of great choices for journals:
Develop a talent.
Some of us know what we’re good at all of our life. You may be a singer, a writer, a track star. a musician, a basketballer or a painter. Sometimes we don’t develop a talent ’til later in life when we try something new. If you are not sure what you’re good at, take a class or buy some materials that will help you develop a talent you want to develop. If you want to paint or draw, go to the arts and crafts section at a store, pick out some supplies, and experiment. Do it a lot! The more you draw, or play your instrument, or dance; whatever skill or talent you choose, the better you will get and the more joy you will receive from that outlet.
Do something helpful for someone in need.
There’s always someone who needs attention and love or help and isn’t getting it. This is also about getting the attention off of yourself. Helping someone in need will bring joy to your heart because we were created for community, and we all need love. Knowing that you did something for someone else who can’t repay you, or maybe someone who just didn’t know how to ask will make you feel better about your own life.
These are just five simple, but vital ways to get joy back into your heart. Joy doesn’t;t have to be external. True, lasting joy comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. No matter what goes o in your life, having the Lod by your side through it all will sustain you. Also, healthy habits based on Biblical principles can create stability. If you have any habits that have kept joy in your heart through hard times, let me know in the comments!