When I think about how crazy January was, all that comes to mind is Philippians 4:4. It says always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice! It is on this note that I say A Happy New Month to y’all. Trust you had an amazing January. I didn’t but like Paul said in Philippians 3:13 forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.
Starting this new month, the word of the Lord that kept on coming to me resoundingly was Philippians 4:4 and not because I had a rough January but because God constantly gives us His word as an anchor through which we navigate life. The truth is life in general is not always smooth and it’s often a journey of ups and downs and I also know that it’s quite easy to give in to our pain and hurts so much that it weighs us down, drags us into depression and truncate our lives and daily living most times, but God knows that it might and that’s why He sent His word to us through Apostle Paul to rejoice and again, rejoice.It takes intentionality to stay joyful - Ìbùkúnwrites. Click To Tweet
For me, I realized that Apostle Paul repeated those words of encouragement and strength to emphasize how intentional we have to be in order not to lose our joy. It means our joy supersedes life experiences because it is in God but then, there are moments when that fact will be tried and tested and it’ll only take intentionality on our part to rise above and declare that I am not what I’m going through, my future is not determined by the past or my present trials and just because it feels like it doesn’t mean God is not with me or has forgotten me and just because I am sad right now doesn’t mean I’m without joy. I am riding through fire and I know He is with me. It is crazily stormy right now but I know He’s got my legs. So, I’ll dance even though my heart is tearing up, I will rise even though I’m pressed down, I will sing worship with my heart even if words don’t come out and I will declare that the joy of the Lord is my strength everyday till it hurts no more.
Easier said than done right? No! I’ve come to understand that for everything and for every time in life, man needs grace to pull through! It takes very little effort to be negative and it takes more than your strength to be positive and that’s why the Bible attested to the fact that man’s strength does fail and in that moment when your strength fails, you embrace negativity. If that’s the case, why lean on something that can fail at all?I’ve come to understand that for everything and for every time in life, man needs grace to pull through! It takes very little effort to be negative and it takes more than your strength to be positive Click To Tweet
The truth is there are moments when we’d have to drag joy in and in those moments when we do, we are consciously taking charge of our joy and being intentional and we are saying in our words and actions that I will rejoice today in spite of _____I choose joy always and every day. I am rewriting and deciding what my reality is and it’s joy even though it all looks sad and gloomy.
So, how do you drag joy in?
Some of the things that work for me in dragging joy in include;
Drawing nigh – Like I said, no one can go through or survive life by his/her willpower and the way I converse with God is so open and blunt because I know I am nothing without him and if it were up to me, it would have been over for me a long time ago. So, there are moments I would find myself telling God that okay, you gonna have to save me now or never because I’m drowning and the only reason I think I can and will make it out is ‘cause you said so. So, show up now cos I feel like I’m all by myself. I do believe in having sincere conversations with God, not because He is unaware but because you still have a responsibility of asking, telling and believing him. Most importantly, Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to seek help confidently so we might obtain grace and mercy in needy times like this.
Song Recommendation: Lauren Daigle’s You Say
Staying hopeful – It is easy to be defeated when one is hopeless and without a single delight in life and existence and most of the times, this is one stage of depression that can lead to suicide. Of a truth, it is not easy to stay hopeful especially when the realities surrounding you negate your mindset but you can win these realities by choosing to stay ridiculously hopeful. One thing is assured, we’ll go through life and life will also happen but we stay of good cheer because He has conquered the world. How? By placing His Spirit inside of us and with Him in us and us in Him and so, we carry the word on the inside of us because God is the word. Remember, in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body and we are complete through our union with Him. (Colossians 2:9-10). Be intentionally positive!
Song Recommendation – Brian Jenn Johnson’s You’re Gonna Be Okay.
Trust – Trust when you don’t know what His plans are. Trust Him even when the events happening look nothing like the promises of God. Trust Him even when it all seems out of control. He’s got the whole world in His hands remember? Remember none of His words will go unfulfilled! God always make good his predictions. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself when life tries you is to trust Him who made life and its inhabitants. Before you were formed, He knew you! Trust! His thoughts are always good and not of evil and always for an expected end. Keep faith!
Song Recommendation – Lauren Daigle’s Look Up Child.
Encourage yourself in the Lord – This reminded me of a song by Donald Lawrence and the Tri City Singers sometimes, you have to encourage yourself! Remind yourself of His promises and faithfulness. Strengthen yourself in the Lord like David (1 Sam. 30:6), meditate on the word, renew your belief in those words, make confessions – build yourself in the most holy faith.
Song Recommendations – Charles Jenkins’s My God is Awesome.
Sinach’s There’s an Overflow
Give thanks for and in advance – Yes! Worship! Spontaneous worship and intentional worship! Sometimes I do find myself worshipping in tongues like singing tongues. It’s hilarious I know but it happens. I know my current life realities are not proof that God has abandoned me. He has called me by a far greater name. I’m His, He’s mine, a peculiar person, a holy nation, the separated, chosen and concentrated one, a royal priesthood, I’m His person, we are His people. How can he abandon me? Never! So, when I do not know what to do sometimes and I’m overwhelmed and it feels like the windows of life are closing on me, I’ll give thanks for everything and in advance – I’d look back and see how far we’ve come together and I’ll worship in spirit and in truth of that understanding that if He did it before, He’ll do it again.
Song Recommendation – Phil Thompson’s My Worship
In conclusion, as you go through the remaining days in February, remember that the hands of the Lord are not too short to save neither are His ears deaf to ear and above all, draw nigh to God and He’ll draw nigh. Resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7 – 8). Grace’s got you! I hope this blog post blessed you.
Song Recommendation – Hillsong United’s Whole Heart.
Till I come your way again, do share with me ways by which you drag joy in your low moments in the comment section 👇
Love, Light and Joy,