Last week I wrote a post about rejoicing - what it is, when we should do it, and why. I thought about the post a lot this week, as I had many opportunities to practice 'rejoicing' in my life. I decided to write a follow up post to it, with some suggestions for "How to Rejoice," because some days, rejoicing just doesn't come naturally.
First of all, I would like to point out that the Bible does command us to rejoice. I find that a lot of times, commands are given for things that we might find challenging. Or sometimes they are given because it wouldn't really make sense to do it unless it was a command from God. Like rejoicing. Let's say you had a day where everything went wrong....your natural response might be stress, anger, depression, or despair. It takes faith to believe the promises in God's Word, that we truly can rejoice and be at peace during the hard times. Some days, we must truly just 'let go' and rejoice because God told us to. I have found that rejoicing begets rejoicing. In the middle of a bad day, taking a few minutes to rehearse the good things God has done for you - to find that 'silver lining' in the clouds - will bring about rejoicing and peace in your heart if you are a child of God.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but here is a short list of ideas to help you rejoice:
- Keep a journal of blessings and answered prayers. When I write down answered prayers, I am always amazed at how quickly that list grows in length, and what a blessing it is to keep reading it over and over and being reminded of God's love and grace.
- Make a list of God's attributes and praise Him for Who He is! A fun and challenging way to do this is to go through the alphabet and write one characteristic of God for each letter.
- Set quiet time aside to meditate and reflect on the goodness of God in your life. Even a few minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time can do wonders!
- Listen to inspiring music that will draw your heart to God. Keep it playing continuously on those days that are particularly hard.
- Rejoice on purpose! Set your mind to it that you are going to do it, and not allow yourself to wallow in despair. Let your mind decide how your spirit and attitude will be.
- Memorize uplifting Scripture verses - ones that will remind you how much your Heavenly Father loves and cares for you. Keep those verses in the forefront of your thoughts.
- Know for sure that you are saved, and develop a deep and meaningful daily relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
- When you are weak, get around strong people.
- Get a good night's sleep! It can be hard to have a joyful spirit when your body and mind are exhausted.
- Don't make big decisions at night when you are tired. You will typically always have a better outlook on things in the morning after you have renewed your strength, and had a fresh time of daily devotions.
- Go do something for someone! The list of possibilities are endless, but I have found that it really takes my mind off my own difficulties if I set them aside and give of myself for the needs of another.
- Smile! Look around you and notice the little things in your life, and be grateful for them.
- Laugh! Step back and soak in life. It's pretty funny!
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