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The Choice to stop and embrace Joy

The Choice to stop and embrace Joy

The choice to stop and embrace Joy 

Happiness and joy are daily choices.  Both science and the Bible confirm the same thing.  Science has shown that it is not the circumstances in someone’s life that determine how happy they will be, but that in fact, it can often be the opposite because we find out how unsatisfying wealth and success can actually be in themselves.  What makes a difference is perspective.  

 

I was recently listening to a few TED talks and one of them shares how we can consciously live happier lives and gives five practices which can make a huge difference.  One of those practices is meditation.  

 

What is meditation? 

 

For me, healthy meditation is not about emptying your mind of everything, but rather taking captive those thoughts that are distracting, and consciously becoming aware of God in a truth that normally we don’t take the time to focus on.  

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
— Isaiah 30:15

Every month we spend an evening doing what we call ‘introvert worship’.  On that evening we have an hour and a half where people can come with their Bible and notebook and rest in the Presence of God.  They take time to chat to God about their fears, anxieties, hopes and dreams.  They take time to meditate on truth and listen to God speaking to them in the quiet whilst music is played and spontaneous and pre-written songs are sung over them.  

 

Last night for some of the time I led a guided meditation.  Part of it was about focusing on a time in your life when you felt happy or thankful and allowing those emotions to become present within you.  It ended with allowing God to envelop you with His love and light.  It was incredibly powerful, and as I focused on past experiences where God had brought me joy, I started thanking God for the current blessings in my life and joy swelled within me.  As I allowed God to connect with me in those things, I felt the joy and strength of His presence.  

 

God’s Presence is with us always through His Holy Spirit, but how often do we take time to consciously recognise it? How often do I stop, quieten my mind from all the distractions of the day and focus on Him? 

In his presence are honor and majesty;

in his place, strength and joy.
— 1 Chronicles 16:27 (CJB)
You make me know the path of life;

in your presence is unbounded joy,

in your right hand eternal delight.
— Psalm 16:11
You have made known to me the ways of life;

you will fill me with joy by your presence.
— Acts 2: 28

Let's put on Joy together: 

Try and take at least 10 minutes to stop and take captive the distracting thoughts of the day and focus on Jesus instead.  Spend sometime recalling a recent happy moment and allow those feelings to rise within you, leading to thankfulness to God.  Rest in His Presence.  



May you be conscious of God's joy today! This is Day 13 of a 21 Day challenge to put on joy in practical ways.  You can receive these posts by email by clicking to sign up here.

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