What we live is first what we think. So what does God want us to think about that will elevate our mind, soul, spirit and life?
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. (Phil 4:8)
As a child, first born daughter of an alcoholic dad, I was naturally joyful but our home situation was chaotic and unpredictable so when things got volatile due to my dad’s anger or his own depression, I retreated and became a sullen, sometimes, pouty and often emotionally teary-eyed little girl. But God had something greater, something better for me and He also has something better for you, too!: JOY!
Recently, I gave a speech for my Joy Jubilee birthday bash, and I shared a few things I have learned about joy—for the next few weeks, I will share them with you too—in bite-sized nuggets.
Joy is Relationship
The book of Philippians is often tagged the book of JOY, and the first chapter of Philippians is all about RELATIONSHIP:
I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, . . . 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart (Phil 1:3-7)
This thread of relationship continues through out the book, like in this verse from Phil 4:1 where Paul calls the believers at Philippi his JOY!:
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! (Phil 4:1)
Today, apply these relationship verses by:
Thanking God and praying for those you love—those who bring you joy.
Tell those you love HOW they bring you JOY and thank them.
Speaking of relationships: More than 30 influential Christian leaders have endorsed Discovering Joy!
There is no joy without Jesus! Only happiness that depends on happenings. Knowing Christ brings Joy. This is what our distraught world needs. Read Discovering Joy in Philippians, a new creative Bible study experience.
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. ..” (Luke 6:23)
Let’s make this summer of JOY!
Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 48 books including several bestsellers like Men Are Like WAffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, Discovering Hope in the Psalms and Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience. (co-authored with Jean E Jones and Karla Dornacher, from Harvest House) Pam and her husband, Bill have been married almost 40 years, and that makes them REJOICE! Together they Co-Direct Love-Wise. The Farrels call their live aboard boat docked in Southern Ca. home.
In today’s world with frightening headlines blasting the worst possible scenarios into our homes, and the stress of the daily responsibility of providing for ourselves and our families weighing heavy on our hearts, coupled with the unpredictable, unwelcome, unwanted, unbelievably hard or harsh circumstances like floods, fires, relationship strife, death and disease it is very easy to get depressed, discouraged and down-trodden.
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14)
The word hope is a verb, so it is an action we choose, to wait expectantly for God to move. I like to say, “trust while you tarry” , or to wait patiently (and sometimes painfully long) for God
to show up and show off! After doing a word study, to summarize the meaning, this hoping is to be exercised: surpassingly, repeatedly, increasingly, intensely, exceedingly, continuously, regularly, consistently, and perpetually! When I drew the verse in my Bible art journal, I pictured a geyser of ever-flowing hope!
My contribution to Discovering Hope in the Psalms is a series of inspirational devotionals that help women apply the psalms to their everyday lives and keep HOPE ALIVE. To help me keep HOPE ALIVE, in my bullet journal, I have pages I write my “God-Sized” hopes and dreams and I wrap them with scripture so I can pray the Word over my life.
The key to securing a hope like an eternal spring is also in this same verse, “praise you more and more”. The “more and more” means to accumulate or gather praise—and in doing this gathering we fuel hope. One way to picture accumulating or gathering praise would be how you might walk through a garden to gather flowers to create a beautiful bouquet or through a mall gathering gifts for family and friends that will bring joy!
So to capture praises to fan the flame on hope, in my bullet journal, I have pages to accumulate praises. One looks like the sun with praises written on each ray. Another is a vase with praises on each flower petal. Accumulated praise could also be drawn as gift bags collected while shopping, presents under a Christmas tree, waves on the ocean, or shells on the beach– use your imagination to personalize your record of praise!
What an incredibly unique and creative Bible study Pam, Jean, and Karla have created! It’s multilayered, dimensional, theologically rich, touching the senses—enlightening the mind, capturing the heart. Well done, beloved Sisters! Thank you for this gift.