Today we will explore the discipline of Joy. Who would’ve thought of joy as a discipline? Only Jesus, our Lord and Savior would. The Lord has much to say about this discipline. As disciples of Christ, joy when cultivated as a habit, will transform your life. It preserves your soul from anguish, anxiety and depression. Its not just happiness, it the joy of the Lord. It’s supernatural and exceeding logic. It sustains you in the midst of chaos. It is the motivation of perseverance. This joy I have, the world did not give it to me and world can’t take it away! Hallelujah! It empowers you to maintain position to the very end to meet the goal or receive the prize. Let’s look at Hebrews 12.1,2 .Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Did you see that? It was joy that caused Jesus to endure the cross. He endured the whipping, the scourging, the persecution and the shame. It was joy that caused him to persevere. Hebrews instructed us to lay aside every sin that entangles us and run with endurance looking to Jesus. It encourages you to look at Jesus as your joy just as Jesus had joy before Him to endure. Jesus will help you endure. He is your example of using joy as your motivation to endure circumstances. Another scripture that shows us this principle is in James chapter 1. James 1. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (endurance, steadfastness, perseverance), but let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing. James explains the joy of trials. This is where the saying comes “Trials come to make us strong” come from. When a challenge, trial or test comes, understand it's purpose is to test your endurance. It will help you persevere and develop from negative. Adversity is an opportunity for growth. It is the moment your born again spirit can be revealed and allow God’s character shine through. As you develop and mature, you will lack nothing. Nehemiah 8.10 "the joy of the Lord is my strength."
Call to Action: Ways to cultivate Joy into a habit: 1. Manage the negative- Change your perception of your circumstances. Remember in James 1 tells us to view trouble as a self-improvement tool. It is to test our perseverance and we are coming out stronger in the end. 2. Positive Mindset through Praise and worship. Praise the Lord think of all the blessing you have in your life. God is sovereign. He is the almighty God and he loves you. He will never leave or abandon you a. Psalm 106:1 Praise the Lord. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 3. Achievement- Keep the end in mind. Get a vision of the future ahead. Philippians 3.14. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. If you cannot see it, pray and read His word. Ask Him to show you what His vision for your life. 4. Live in the moment with Thanksgiving. Give Thanks. 1 Thess.5.18 In everything give thanks. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you To hear more about the Joy of the Lord, Checkout my podcast Hello Beloved. https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e7c4b649-2b6a-4e52-9a29-b65ae13bc9c4/episodes/0548686b-6aee-4bfa-920f-15a24a835cea/hello-beloved-episode-7-the-discipline-of-joy