Do you ever feel as though you’re so busy that you overlook the many blessings God has given you? His love for us is infinitely deep and transcends everything we do and experience. Especially during life’s most difficult times, it is vitally important to turn to God and to trust Him. Believing in God’s greater purposes for us and His sovereignty in our lives helps us find peace and joy, even in the midst of upheaval. Such peace and joy cannot be found apart from Him.
There are many ways to discover the joy that comes with putting your trust in God daily. In opening your heart to God’s will in your life, you can experience a greater sense of joy and His unconditional love for you personally.
Finding joy through reading and meditating on the Scriptures
When you have a friend, you spend time getting to know each other. And so it is with the Lord. There has to be dedicated time spent together through reading and meditating on His Word and communicating back through prayer. That is how you can deepen your relationship with God – by spending time with Him!
When we exercise our faith in God and His written word, we can be renewed through the counsel given through Scripture. If you are struggling with your faith or cannot find joy in your life, try incorporating more time of reading and meditating on Scripture and praying as part of your day. Psalm 119:97 says, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” If you have not been doing this, even just ten minutes of daily reading and prayer to start can improve your relationship with Him and increase the joy you feel.
Finding joy through prayer
When we spend time with God, He speaks to us through His word, and we communicate with Him through prayer. He has paved the way for us to have complete access to Him. As Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Establishing a pattern of prayer will bring you greater faith and happiness–gifts that are available to you 24/7.
Finding joy through music
Music can uplift our souls and help us to worship the Lord. In Ephesians 5:19 it says, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16 encourages us to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. David worshiped through music and dance, and he used music to drive evil spirits from Saul (I Samuel 16:23).
Music is powerful! Allow praise music to minister to your soul, whether it is upbeat or more pensive, depending on your personality style, and see what a difference it can make.
Finding joy through spending time in nature
God has such an extensive love for us that He gave us a beautiful world to live in. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Have you ever spent time hiking in the woods or walking on the beach and been refreshed as you communed with God? How did you feel when you came home?
Joy can be found through the simple things of life, and spending reflective time enjoying God’s creation is an easy way to lift your heart to Him. To find greater happiness, focus on spending more meaningful time outdoors. If you live by the ocean, take advantage of the opportunity for beach walks, or if you live by the mountains, try going for a hike, or perhaps you could find a wooded area and be alone in the stillness of His creation. Reading your Bible, meditating, praying, and spending time in nature are all activities that will help you reflect on God, your relationship with Him, and His greatness.
Finding joy through service
Trusting God leads us to better experience the unconditional love He has for us. Through faith, we can find greater joy through serving and helping others grow and be cared for. Serving is a wonderful way to see joy spring up in your life, and you will be encouraged as your ability to love increases and becomes more like the love God wants you to show to others. If you feel that your faith is lacking and your patience is growing thin, commit a portion of each day to helping someone else without expecting anything in return. When you forget yourself and give time to bringing happiness to another, putting them before yourself, you will find that it is you who walks away feeling the greater blessing (Philippians 2:3-4).
Finding joy through our trials
Joy comes with realigning our perspective. As you go through trials, it can be difficult to have a positive attitude and to keep an eternal perspective. I Peter 1:6 gives some perspective in going through trials: so that your faith–of greater worth than gold–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus is revealed. In James 1 we are encouraged to welcome them as friends. In the process you can find some promises to claim that are meaningful to you, thank God for at least five blessings, and find things you are grateful for–whatever it takes for you to stave off falling into despair and to be able to recognize God’s hand in your life.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, 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.” This helps us to realign our perspective that God is God and His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He is a loving, sovereign God and can be trusted. As you strive to replace despair with joy, you will be amazed at how easily you see all that you have been blessed with!