Pursuing the JOY of the Lord

In this season of giving and the celebration of the greatest gift ever given {the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ} I find myself needing to press in and pursue the joy of the Lord more than ever. I know I am not alone this season in needing a boost of strength and yes, a big dose of JOY!

Why, you say?

Well I can tell you it is not because I am a grinch. Nor is it because I am an unhappy person. I can honestly say that I LOVE MY LIFE. It is simply because my husband is away again for Christmas on a year long combat tour {in Afghanistan}. In case you have just tuned into my blog, it is our 5th deployment and believe me, this is one thing that DOES NOT get any easier with experience. It hurts my heart to see my children grieve while they miss their daddy every day but specifically throughout the holiday season.

While there may be many reasons for needing to pursue and walk in the joy of the Lord, I am here to talk about some of the ways we can obtain this joy as an individual on a daily basis.

Here are a few things I do to get my daily dose of joy:

1. The first thing I need to do is get my focus on God. The easiest way for me to do so is taking a few minutes in the morning to pray and read the Bible ALONE. With three children that I homeschool, I have had to develop this habit and stay consistent and the children have all adapted to it over time. 

2. Praise and worship music always fills the air of my home. Hearing the Word of God sung under the anointing just gives my soul and spirit the healing, rest, and JOY that I need. A MUST to obtain JOY in my life. 

3. Confessing the Word. Plain and simple. I find any and all scriptures related to the character trait {fruit of the Spirit} that I am seeking to walk more fully in – then I print them out and speak them into existence!

4. Serving others in any capacity brings a joy that is unspeakable. Cooking for someone who has recently become sick, had surgery, birthed a baby, or any number of other reasons is one practical way to serve. You can volunteer at a nursing home, church, orphanage, or any other place that people have needs. I have always found that my greatest joy comes from serving those in need. 

Here is my confession list for JOY:
Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!  
Philippians 4:4
…For this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold. 
Nehemiah 8: 10
The Lord has done great things for us! We are glad!  
Psalm 126:3
Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary. 
1 Chronicles 16: 27
Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always).
1 Thessalonians 5: 16
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. 
Psalm 16: 11
This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118: 24
   
Of course there are other ways to add to our individual joy. The four things noted above are a great foundat
ion to build upon. We can fellowship with other believers, attend church, attend a Bible study or pray with others. The possibilities are endless. I pray that this season celebrating the birth of Jesus finds you and yours filled with THE JOY OF THE LORD!