ALWAYS BE JOYFUL
(1 Thessalonians 5:16 - CEV)
It takes more than words, of course. In a command to "be joyful," self-discipline isn't the goal. It isn't an effective response or even a realistic one. We can't change our hearts simply by telling them to change. We can however, realize that our attitudes are off-kilter and ask Him to supernaturally change them. He holds our hearts in His hand; He can certainly sway them with His thoughts and fill them with His Spirit. If we are going to be people who are always joyful, this is how it has to be. We can't follow this instruction in the midst of trying circumstances unless we have a radical change of perspective and supernatural help. Biblical commands to rejoice - especially in suffering, persecution, and intense trials of life - can only be fulfilled when we depend on Him.
Hear His heart: "I designed you for JOY. I sent My Son to you so your JOY might be full, abundant, overflowing. I didn't create you for JOY only on pleasant days but for deep abiding JOY in any circumstances. Yes, this seems unrealistic to you. And yes, you can't simply flip a switch and rejoice. But you can focus on Me, change your perspective, and ask for My heart to fill you. I will gladly give you if you ask."
(An extract from: Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen)
Prayer: Father I'm asking, I want JOY - Your JOY, the kind I was designed to have and that Jesus promised. Pleased let me experience it, even in my most trying circumstances. I want the JOY that overcomes all obstacles and runs deeper than any pain. In Jesus' amen!"