I met Patty Mason this summer at an AWSA (Advanced Writers & Speakers Association) conference. I asked her to share the habits that brought her joy after suffering with depression. Now here’s Patty.
Are you struggling to find joy in life? Are you haunted or weighed down by your past? In a world filled with sin, chaos, trials and pain, it is difficult to find lasting joy.
I’ve been through a great deal in my life, but God has shown me that it is possible to have a heart filled with joy, even in the middle of life’s circumstances.
These seven strategies may not be easy. But, if you put them into practice, they will not only help you triumph over painful emotions, but will help you remain joy-filled and free.
#1 Get to the Root of Your Pain
Many people miss joy because they hide, denying or refusing to face pain because of fear, guilt, and shame. It can be hard to admit how we feel, but healing begins when we admit there is a problem. If we want to move forward, we need to confront some painful issues from the past.
We can’t do anything about the past, but we can make the decision to hand over our pain and emotions to God, and ask Him: “Why am I feeling this way?”
Once God shows us the source of our pain, in order to find freedom and joy, we then need to get real with God. In humility, confess everything—the good, the bad and the ugly—let it all come spilling out.
Then ask God for His help in overcoming. If He tells you to do something, do it.
#3 Proclaim God’s Word
The tongue is a powerful instrument. It can speak life and it can speak death. God works when we speak with hope. The enemy goes to work when we speak with hopelessness.
We need to pick up our Bible and verbally pronounce God’s word over our pain. When we regularly proclaim God’s truth over the way we feel, faith and hope fill us with joy.
Forgiveness doesn’t make what someone did to you okay. Forgiveness makes you okay.
It can be difficult to forgive when we’ve been greatly wronged, but to find joy, we must embrace the forgiveness God has given us through Christ Jesus and extend that forgiveness.
We also need to forgive ourselves. Guilt, shame, and self-hatred can weigh on us heavily when we are unable to forgive ourselves. If your soul is haunted by past mistakes, ask God to help you let them go and receive His forgiveness. You don’t have to suffer one more day—forgive and find joy.
#5 Put on a Garment of Praise
When we feel discouraged, praising God may be the last thing we feel like doing, but our victory over the spirit of despair comes when our eyes are focused on Jesus, and our hearts are flooded with worship.
If you want more joy in life, pursue a lifestyle of worship. Begin the day with praise to God. As you get dressed, ask Him to clothe you with a garment of praise. While you eat breakfast, feed your soul with the praises of God’s word. While you drive in your car, put on worship music. As you go through the day, think on what is true, admirable and praiseworthy. Then end the day with thanksgiving and praise for all of the good things God has done in your life.
#6 Go Out and Help Someone
It’s amazing how our problems shrink when we reach out and help others. Too often, we’re miserable because we’re far too focused on ourselves. Sometimes all it takes to beat the blues and experience joy is a sense of purpose.
#7 Know the Giver of All Joy
Genuine joy is found in an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Embrace Him with everything you’ve got! Enjoy Him, and the abundant life He died to give you. No one can bring you joy the way Jesus can.Our joy needs to be rooted in God, and not what we see in front of us. Click To Tweet
Question: Which strategy speaks to you?
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Bio: Patty Mason is a wife, mother, and grandmother who found hope and healing when Jesus reached into her well of depression and set her free. From her painful past, God created Liberty in Christ Ministries, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to helping others find freedom for their souls through biblical truth.
Sometimes I link up with these great sites:
 See Philippians 4:8