People fight adversity with many tools. Anger. Sadness. Denial. Frustration.
But my weapon of choice for this fight is joy.
I’ve been trying to fight with laughter and happiness and levity and winsomeness and mirth and gladness and gratefulness. Some days I fare far better than others. But I’m still continuing the fight.
Will you join me? Will you choose to fight with joy no matter your circumstance or adversity?
Here are 4 powerful ways to fight with joy today:
1. Practice Enthusiasm.
When we’re wrestling with adversity, enthusiasm can be hard to come by. That’s why it’s important to look for the little things—those tiny gifts of moments that appear all around. A bowl full of fresh strawberries or raspberries, an arresting sunset or sunrise, the snuggle of a furry friend, the embrace of friend. When we search for the good and true and beautiful, we can begin to shift our focus. Words of complaint are replaced with words of gratitude. We begin to recognize the ways God is lavishing on us in the midst of the trial. When you practice enthusiasm, it will organically rub off on the people around you.
Put it into practice: This week, replace your complaints with words of praise. For every time you complain, offer two instances of thanksgiving and praise onto God. Watch as your attitude shifts to rejoicing in the fullness of life.
2. Celebrate the Best in People.
As life’s storms brew, it may be easy to take it out on those closest to you. Instead, look for moments to celebrate those around you—your spouse, co-worker, classmate, or friend. Point out where you see their gifts and talents. Commend them for their faithfulness, joy, encouragement, or positivity. Surprise a friend with their favorite treat or Starbucks drink to remind them they are loved.
Put it into practice: Celebrate someone each day this week. Go out of your way to encourage, compliment, and rejoice in who God created them to be without expecting anything in return. Watch relationships deepen as you put others first.
3. Let it Go.
Choose to forgive and experience the freedom that it brings. Instead of meditating on your error or the mistake of someone else, let it go. Extend forgiveness to yourself or others and feel the weight lift. Experience the joy and levity of living free from the shackles of unforgiveness.
Put it into practice: Make a list of three people you are wrestling to forgive. Prayerfully give the list to God as you choose to let each situation go. Take the next step and let that person know they are forgiven. Experience the freedom found in forgiveness.
4. Savor the Wonder of God.
Moments of spiritual awakening that make you long to know God more surround you. The wonder of God is waiting in your friendships and family, your workplace and church, your extraordinary moments and in your mundane, in your joys and your tears. Yet how often do we pass by unaware? Instead, choose to live awake and aware to the ways God reveals himself to you.
Put it into practice: Start today by downloading the free Fourteen Days of Wonder: Devotional and Journal. Subscribe to MargaretFeinberg.com, by clicking here. You’ll receive a link to access the PDF download. You can begin the adventure as soon as you receive the devotional.
Today, may you rediscover the levity and delight of being a child of God.
This week I'm giving away THREE copies of Jenni Catron's new book, Clout.
Most recently, Jenni served for nine years as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, where she led the staff and oversaw the ministry of its five campuses.
Jenni’s passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently in the different spheres of influence God has granted them. Jenni blogs at www.jennicatron.com.
You have clout. But have you discovered it yet?
It is easy to believe that power, influence, and leadership are gifts given to a special few. But the Bible says otherwise.
We all long for significance, even as we fear we will never be good enough. We listen for God, but hear only voices of doubt and practicality. Listen again. There is a call that only you can answer.
Clout is power and influence. It is an undeniable trait that opens doors and moves mountains. You have it, and you can use it to change the world around you. With Scripture and stories from her own life, Jenni Catron maps out the pitfalls and clear paths on the way toward discovering and unleashing your very own clout.
Learn about Jesus and others who sought to lead like him. Stop dreaming and start planning. Define your direction, set your goals, and confront the challenges that stand between you and the person God made you to be. Step into your sphere of influence with the humble confidence of Christ.
To win a copy of Clout, leave a comment on this original blog post at MargaretFeinberg.com. The winner will be selected and announced on Wednesday.
Congratulations to the winners: Bethany, Ann Phillips Thompson, Robin Fossum
How are you fighting with joy in your circumstance? How can we be praying for you?