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“Joy” Devotional

A 5-day devotional on living a life filled with joy, regardless of life’s circumstances. Learn how to live from the inside out, as Donna Lasit shares some keys to finding joy in our everyday lives.

Day 1 – An Inside-Out Kind of JOY.

Psalms 16:11 (ESV) You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

JOY. 

How are you feeling today about that word? Does it make you feel hopeful as you begin this devotional? Or maybe you are feeling a little hesitant to hope for something that feels impossible. 

My heart is not to set you up for another disappointing journey. Some of you are going through unimaginable things. Some of you are in the throes of depression and are carrying some pretty heavy burdens. This last season hasn’t been easy for so many. Isolation has derailed relationships, the economy has sent many into financial tailspins, division has ripped through families and communities, and fear has gripped many of us! We have had a lot of things pressing in on us from the outside, stripping us of some joy, haven’t we? 

What I want to say to you, in all honesty, is this: I am so excited that you joined me for this journey! Not because I have a spiritual “magic pill” for you to take that will assure you of a life filled with joy. But because I have seen God do something inside my heart. God has shifted me from feeling like life was an emotional roller coaster, where everything on the outside affected what was going on inside me, to something quite different. I still experience sadness, heartbreak, all the things in life that happen to us humans. But there is this anchor now that holds through the pressure of those storms. This anchor helps me live with a kind of inner joy that presses out into how I even view my circumstances. 

I will get right to the point. This anchor is God’s PRESENCE. That is what holds me! When all else fades away, His presence fills me with something inside. Something called JOY that no circumstances can steal from me.

I promise you, this is not a “rah rah, think positive thoughts, happy, happy, happy” type devotional. I’m just not into that sort of thing. It feels empty, unauthentic, and lifeless, which doesn’t reflect the life that God has for us at all. Instead, God wants to fill us with a joy that starts on the inside and pushes out to impact our lives and everyone around us.

Recently, I attended a funeral for an incredible young man that had Cerebral Palsy, as well as some other serious health conditions. I can honestly say I have never been more impacted by a service like this before. We had only known this young man for a couple years, but the inner joy that exuded from him was like nothing I have ever seen. His parents would wheel him into church, and his smile would light up the room. I miss him. He worshipped with all of his heart as his shining face would reflect this inner delight of being with Jesus. Though his mind was sharp as a tack, he couldn’t talk like you and I, he had to painstakingly talk through a special computer, which he had mastered using a technique with his head. He couldn’t walk or use his hands very well, or do so many things that you and I do without even thinking. His mom shared about his journey to accept the way he was, and used Judson’s speaking device to read a poem that he had written and recorded. I assure you, there was not a dry eye in that room.

The last line I will never forget. “I am happy with the way I am.” In the natural, my mind couldn’t understand how this young man could be so filled with joy, so filled with gratitude and zest for life, despite the pain and limitations that his body had. 

Nurses shared about the joy he brought into the hospital, where he had spent more than his share of time. Teachers talked about the joy he brought into school. And every family member could not help but mention this contagious joy that he had. How could Judson be so filled with joy that he had impacted everyone around him in such a great way? 

He lived an inside-out life! His life was so filled with God’s presence, it pushed out into his perspective on everything else in his life. All you had to do was be friends with him on Facebook to know this. His last post was just weeks before he met his precious Jesus face to face, and it read, “I am so excited to see Jesus soon.” Jesus had filled his heart with this joy and peace that had nothing to do with his body, his circumstances, or anything else. It was an inside-out, contagious kind of joy. 

I have heard it said that the difference between joy and happiness is that happiness depends on what “happens.” Joy, however, is something that you choose. 

But choosing joy is more than a simple mental exercise of the will, isn’t it? It has to come from a revelation of something deeper rather than an emotion that can be chosen with the mind.

If you will allow me, I want to get a little personal with you. These last 18 months hit me over the head, maybe like they hit you. In 26 years of ministry, I have never seen division, strife, polarization, anger, hate, and generally shocking behavior in the world like I have this last year and a half. The church world didn’t escape this either. As we began to navigate this season as pastors, we experienced “lose/lose” scenarios at every turn. It felt like we couldn’t win! There were no good feelings walking into an empty church, where maybe the only person that talked to me was complaining about how we were handling the pandemic. We got floods of emails, people mad at us on all sides of every issue, we got literal hate mail on our desks & in our social media inboxes, we were attacked publicly and on all platforms. Never in my life have I ever experienced such negativity in the church. My safe place was no longer safe. 

I don’t say all this to make you feel sorry for me! In fact, God worked the most beautiful thing in my life, that I will treasure forever. I remember sitting at my desk last fall, pivoting for the millionth time as we prepared for Beautiful Conference 2020. I put my head down, and the Lord spoke this word JOY into my spirit. I laughed. But not the happy kind of laugh, more like the “really?” kind of laugh. God began to speak to me that day. It has been a journey back to true joy. I didn’t wake up one day with the happy emotion fully intact. I had to get back to His presence. In the midst of life over this last season, I had been so distracted by leading through a global pandemic, that I had neglected to sit and wait in God’s presence. Without even realizing it, my time with Jesus had become more of an exercise than a delight. 

But it is only in His presence that fullness of joy comes. It has been a daily re-learning journey with Jesus teaching me. So I don’t write all this as an expert, but as a recent and current student praying that I can give you hope today. Jesus can take our messes, our exhaustion, and breathe new life and lasting joy into our hearts.

If your “happenstance” is impacting you today, remember this – joy cannot be found in life’s pleasures. Joy cannot be found by searching for the greatest experiences, accumulating the most wealth, or exploring the most exciting adventures. That might give you happiness for the moment. But the moment soon fades, and you need  another hit of “happy.” So off you go to surpass your last “happy.” Chasing happiness and joy is as futile as a puppy chasing its tail. It moves just as you almost have it. Fullness of joy can only be found in His presence.

As we finish day one, I want to bring us back to Psalm 16:11. This verse is so simple, yet holds so much significance. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

God wants us at His “right hand.” Right by His side. The writer knows that a person with the highest rank stood to the king’s right side, at his right hand. It represents closeness. Even today we refer to someone being our “right hand man,” or “wingman” if you are a Top Gun fan. 

It is this kind of closeness to His presence that God is inviting us into today. He is waiting for you right now to sit in His presence. I get this picture of Jesus reaching over to the seat right next to him, motioning you to join Him there. He has a seat reserved just for you. It is there that your journey to this inside-out joy will begin. 

So breathe deeply today. Invite God’s presence to fill your atmosphere today

My inside-out work:  

What is your joy level today? Are you living inside-out or outside-in? Have you been chasing happiness and joy in the right places? Be honest with Jesus today. 

Write out Psalm 16:11 and put it somewhere visible as a reminder that God’s word promises you fullness of joy. Remind yourself daily that God wants to lead us on this path, He wants us right there with Him, close at His right hand, where He has pleasures awaiting us.

My JOY declaration today: 

Today, I lean my heart into You, Jesus, and I take you at Your word. I believe that You are leading me and making known my path to life today. Your presence is where I find my joy, not in my emotions or my circumstances. Teach me today to live inside-out. 

Day 2 The Pursuit of Joy or Jesus?

Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  

In so many areas of our lives we understand the process of sowing and reaping. We know that if we brush our teeth faithfully we will enjoy the fruit of healthy teeth. When we invest our money wisely, we see the financial rewards. If we study really hard in school, our grades will show it. When we plant tomato plants we will get to eat tomatoes! It just makes sense. 

But the whole wide world is searching for joy in things, in money, in relationships, in experiences, in anything and everything but where Jesus teaches us we can find it. It’s like we are sowing in one field and expecting fruit in another. Have you ever been there? I know I have! 

This chapter tells us that these amazing fruits are what we harvest when we walk in the Spirit. Not the flesh. Not the stuff that we reach for, the life free from pain and difficulties. 

Jesus himself was well acquainted with grief, betrayal, pain, and yet in Hebrews 1:9 Jesus is said to “be anointed with the oil of gladness beyond His companions”!  How is that possible? He was connected with the Spirit! So it makes sense that His harvest of joy was greater than anyone else’s! 

It was during one of the hardest seasons of my life that I finally understood this. I was broken and broke. Joy was absent in my life. I was going through the motions with an empty tank. This church plant thing was way harder than I anticipated. Friendship was too. And motherhood. And it was all feeling rather heavy and overwhelming. I almost cracked and would have if an incredible mentor of mine didn’t reach down into my muck and pull me back to the surface for air. What she brought me back to wasn’t a fixed life, but she brought me back to a connected life of the spirit. One that communes with the God that cares, can be trusted, and loves me without conditions. 

This love and connection with the Spirit began to push back the darkness that was swirling around my heart and emotions. I will say nothing else changed. Church planting was still ridden with challenges, people still were offended with me, and parenting was still exhausting at moments, but I changed as I connected to Jesus and lived in communion with the Holy Spirit. 

And joy was one of the natural fruits from this season. Somehow in the midst of the hardest couple years of my life, joy came back. 

True lasting joy can only be harvested by a life that is in communion with the Spirit. Joy can only be experienced in the person of Jesus. The beautiful thing is that if you keep pursuing a life connected to the Spirit, this sought after JOY will be one of the many fruits you can enjoy. And this is a joy that can’t be taken away by a flat tire, an empty bank account, a bad diagnosis, or a broken heart. It is way deeper than that. A kind of joy that is so deep in your heart, nothing can shake it.

The key to remember is this: What we pursue will determine what fruit we have. Pursue joy and you will be in an endless pursuit of something that keeps slipping away. Pursue Jesus and a life in the Spirit, and you will begin to experience true joy that can’t be taken away. 

If you have been struggling to find joy, today is a beautiful day for you to start a brand new pursuit – Jesus. He will never disappoint. I guarantee it. 

My inside-out work:  

Take a minute to be honest with yourself. Have you been pursuing JOY in happy experiences, relationships, possessions, or anything else? How has this happiness been disappointing or short-lived? 

This week, think of a way that you can intentionally shift your focus from pursuing joy to pursuing Jesus. Take some time now to reach out to Jesus and invite the Holy Spirit into your life and your day.

My JOY declaration today: 

Today, I choose to stop pursuing anything but Jesus to find true JOY. I refuse to allow the pursuit of happiness to distract me from discovering lasting JOY in my relationship with Jesus. I know that a life filled with the Spirit is the way I will harvest this kind of joy in my life.

Day 3 – Joy Restored. 

Psalm 51:10-12 (ESV) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation,  and uphold me with a willing spirit.

I am so thankful that I had parents that disciplined me. Though I had a soft heart, I was stubborn in many ways for sure, and so often had to learn things the hard way. I remember getting disciplined one day after once again willfully disobeying. As I entered the bedroom that I had been told to go to and “wait for dad,” I remember being so mad at my parents. Admittedly, I had woken up on the wrong side of the bed, and had pushed for my way all day, disregarding every grace and chance my patient parents had given me. And the more I pushed, the grumpier I got. But my pride and selfishness trapped me in my anger. 

I sat there on the bed, waiting anxiously for this all to be over, but not wanting it to start either. I will leave the discipline to your imagination, but I can assure you my parents were the most loving, God-fearing, kind parents. But they were also firm. My dad entered the room, and I could feel myself tensing. It always started with a conversation. The why of this moment. How obedience is a God thing, not just a parent thing. The reminder that this discipline was a sign that I was loved. I would try my hardest not to roll my eyes every time I heard this, but somehow deep inside if I would admit it, I believed them. 

The strangest thing happened every single time. My parents would shape my heart, bringing me to the point of apologizing and understanding, I would be disciplined, and then they would immediately hold me tight and pray with me. My strongest of wills could not withstand this kind of love. And time after time, and yes I was that kid that went to this room too many times, I would leave that room filled with joy. My whole day would shift, and I would feel close to my parents, with a new attitude. There were times that I would go to the room 100% determined and convinced that I would not give into this, and would still be mad when I left. But every time, this godly form of discipline would leave me clean hearted, repentant, and closer to my parents. And to Jesus. And filled with JOY. 

David, in this chapter, was responding to God’s discipline after he had messed up badly. Like really badly. He had committed adultery, killed the woman’s husband, and now was trying to act like everything was OK. God sent Nathan the prophet to call him out on it, and David paid a dear price and lost his child. But his heart of repentance in this chapter always reminds me that a clean heart leads to one very real thing. Joy. David asked God to cleanse his heart, he longs for restoration of relationship and joy because he knows they go together. He, like me, had been there many times. 

Realignment is hard. In the natural and in the spiritual. It takes pain, shifting the bones, sometimes it even takes a breaking to get things right. But wow is it worth it!

There are times when I find that my joy is fading. I am missing that inner joy and anchor. These are the moments that I have to be open and honest with the Lord and ask Him to speak to my heart. I ask God to point out areas that need adjusting. I, like David, ask God to create a clean heart in me. I surrender to that still small voice that reminds me to let go of that offense. To forgive, to stop comparing, to lay down my pride. It is amazing how a little unforgiveness or bitterness has the power to steal my joy. And knowing that this is the enemy’s strategy to steal something so beautiful gives me even more passion to face these things in my life. The enemy knows when my heart is a little “off,” first goes my joy, then before I know it, I find myself feeling distant from God. 

Remembering how important closeness with Jesus is in connection with joy, this makes complete sense. Not to be heavy or anything, but unconfessed sin puts distance between us and Jesus. Are you willing to pay that price to stay where you are at? 

We don’t have to wait till we have royally messed up to come to Jesus either. We can constantly be checking in with Jesus, bringing Him our hurts, our pain, our sin, our doubts, our struggles. Making this a daily part of our journey with Christ is crucial to a life of joy. And will disarm the enemy from stealing the very thing that is our strength.  

I will leave you with this thought. You might have heard this verse before:

Nehemiah 9:10 …the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

What I haven’t put together till now is the context for this verse.  The people have been in exile for years and Nehemiah is bringing them back to rebuild the city. They begin by reading the law and wanting to rebuild this community in the right way. As the law is read, the people realize that they have not been following God’s law and begin to weep and grieve at their sin. They repented and were weeping before the Lord, a sign of realignment. Nehemiah said this to them, “This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 

In the middle of getting an “adjustment,” Nehemiah led the people from repentance to joy! And he speaks such a powerful truth, this joy is our strength! The joy that follows a clean heart brings strength! How beautiful is this? 

The enemy brings condemnation and wants you to sit in the sin, doing penance continually. The enemy wants you to stay sad, separated from God. This is not Jesus’ heart for you at all. He doesn’t want anything to stand between you and Him. Repentance, a turning from that sin, is the most beautiful pathway to connection with Jesus and the joy that a clean heart brings.

So, today, let the Lord realign you, forgive you, love you, connect with you, and bring you the beautiful joy of a clean heart today! 

My inside-out work:  

Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart today. Give Him permission to realign anything in your heart that needs to be addressed. Take a minute and confess it, face it, ask the Lord to forgive you and to realign your heart today. 

Make this a daily habit. In a journal write out what the Lord is speaking to you today. 

My JOY declaration today: 

This day is holy to the Lord. As I allow you to clean my heart, Lord, I know that you will draw me to you and I will experience joy. This joy is my strength. Thank you Jesus for speaking to my heart and realigning my spirit with yours. I will walk with my head tall today knowing that my heart is clean before you, and nothing stands between us. This connection brings me great joy today! 

Day 4Finding JOY in the Hard Places. 

James 1:2-4 (VOICE) Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.

I will never forget our family vacation in the summer of 1986. I was 14 years old. After years of camping in tents in the Pacific Northwest, where the weather can be unpredictable, my dad was so excited that he found a great deal on a used tent trailer. I was thrilled at the idea of not waking up in a pool of water because I got too close to the edge of the tent. What my dad did not tell us was that our pastor had asked him to preach the Sunday we got back, and my dad had felt to speak about patience. 

This should have been disclosed to the family who was about to experience and live in real time the entirety of his sermon illustrations. But no, he didn’t put this together till the end of this famous family vacation.  

No sooner had we parked the tent trailer and cranked up the ceiling to get settled in our camping site, than a cable broke and one side of the roof collapsed. This was just the beginning of the many “trials” over the next two weeks. Just use your imagination. But I will tell you, that on the last day when my brother and I were paddling around the lake in our little raft and we saw my dad’s raft suddenly deflating and him scramble to swim to shore, we laughed till we couldn’t laugh any more. It was just too good. 

It was that night around the campfire that my dad said, “Maybe I shouldn’t have chosen patience as my topic for Sunday.”  

In the middle of so many trials, something really amazing happened. We laughed till we cried. And we felt bonded and full of something incredible – JOY. And it hits me still to this day. Why do we wait till the end of the story to have JOY. Paul is giving us a massive clue here. Count it all joy. Don’t run from tests and hardships. You will ultimately find joy in them. Isn’t this like opposite day? Yep! It sure is! As is almost everything else in God’s Kingdom. Giving is better than receiving. Lose your life to find it. Forgive 70×7. Love your enemies. And then right there with it is this counter-cultural verse. You will ultimately find joy in hardships. 

God knows some things that we don’t yet. There are things hidden in the journey of suffering, hard circumstances, pain and hardships that actually develop something very special in our lives – maturity. A completeness that helps us cross the finish line “lacking nothing.” Knowing that what is ahead is GOOD, can allow us to find JOY now. We can stand on the promises of God, that ALL things work out for good. Even the hard things. 

For the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. A painful, excruciating experience where He felt the weight of the sin of the world on His shoulders. He felt those thorns in His head, the nails in His hands, the sword that pierced His side. He was thirsty, He was in so much pain. His heart still stung from the betrayal of someone whom He had poured out His life, and those closest to Him that had abandoned him. 

But He knew this. The joy of our freedom was up ahead. He knew this moment set the stage for us to be with Him forever. This was the joy that was set before Him that strengthened Him and anchored Him in the reality of the cross.   

Today, can we step back from our circumstances? Put the bills down for a second, walk away from that diagnosis that has been stealing our joy. Step back and thank Jesus for what is ahead. He will turn it all around for good, even the stuff that the enemy tries to throw our way. Take JOY that He is producing something beautiful inside of us. He will be there every step of the way, carrying us, watching us learn the walk of faith, much like a toddler taking their first steps. He knows we might stumble, but because of the joy of walking that’s ahead, He allows us to grow through the pain now. 

So don’t run from your pain today or you will actually be running from the joy that is ahead. It’s ok. Feel it. Walk through it. Let Jesus minister to your heart today. And trust that what God is doing inside of you and your journey will be worth the tears, the struggle, the fight. And as my friend used to say to me all the time, “If you know you will be joyful later, you can be joyful now.” 

My inside-out work:  

Read James 1:2-4 again. Write out the process James describes that will produce maturity in our lives.  

Take a minute to think about the hardships that are most prevalent in your life right now. How can you shift your perspective about them and find the JOY now that you know you will have later? 

My JOY declaration today: 

Today, I choose to look at my current circumstances and thank God for what He is doing. I choose to stop running from and complaining about hard things. I believe that God is doing a work inside of me that will leave me complete, lacking nothing. This brings me great JOY today. 

Day 5 – Experience great JOY. 

Psalms 105:3 (VOICE) Revel in His holy name. May the hearts of the people who seek the Eternal celebrate and experience GREAT JOY.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-6 (ESV) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 

When we read these verses, we start to see a pattern. We are reminded to rejoice ALWAYS in both 1 Thessalonians and Philippians. Paul writes to the Philippians, “and AGAIN I will say, rejoice.” I get the feeling he was worried that people would pass over that instruction too quickly and not hear it. I know I do that sometimes.

There are four themes in these verses that I find such a good pattern for my daily walk with Jesus. They help me start my day with peace and joy in my heart.

Here is a daily guide to set the tone for your day: 

Pray. 

Read those verses again. Here are some key phrases: “Those who seek God will experience great joy, pray continually, let your requests be made known to God.” 

How many times do I hear myself complaining before I have brought my concerns to God? I am teaching myself daily to pray before I try to fix things, before I tell someone what is going on, before I complain and begin worrying, before I lose my joy. Pray continually. Throughout my day. This has been key for me. 

The other day, I woke up with a heavy heart. I was worried about a situation and it was stealing my joy from the moment my eyes opened that morning. I sat there in bed and began to pray rather than complain. Then I made a choice to leave it in His hands. To stop thinking about it. Throughout the day, every time a thought came to my mind, I stopped and prayed again and surrendered it to God. I am amazed at how the simple truths in God’s word can impact our daily lives in such great ways! Prayer works! 

Trust. 

We have to start our day remembering that God is in control. Without this anchor, joy will be as precarious as our day’s circumstances. 

Any control freaks out there? I have had to learn that I can’t control things and trust at the same time. As we bring our requests to God, and choose trust over worry, anxiety begins to subside and peace comes. That deep trust that God is in control greatly impacts our ability to experience JOY. If you think that everything depends on you, the pressure will crush you. We can’t control everything that will happen today, but we can choose to remember that God does. 

So when surprises come our way, take a big deep breath and get back to trust. God is in control. Resist the urge to grab that wheel. God’s got this! 

Rejoice. 

Rejoice simply means “to give joy to, or to be glad in.” There is a reason that Paul reminds us to again rejoice. Do you know that we can choose to bring joy into our day? We can choose to rejoice today. If the only thing that you can rejoice in is Jesus, you already have a really good start to your day! 

Joy is not a feeling, but when you choose joy, amazingly, feelings will come. But they are a fruit of your choice to surrender and rejoice in God today. Rejoicing is a decision and a choice rather than an emotion.

That old song “I sing because I’m happy” has it all wrong. Rather, I believe, we are happy because we sing! That choice to worship, pray, trust, and CHOOSE joy changes everything. Give it a try! 

Be Thankful. 

Have you ever tried to list everything you are thankful for? Try it! You run out of surface things quickly, and then it’s time to dig deeper. I do this often, and am surprised at what it does inside of me. Even knowing that I am doing this as a spiritual exercise can’t stop the fruit from a thankful heart. It produces joy every single time. 

As Larry the cucumber helped Madame Blueberry understand in Veggie Tales, “A thankful heart is a happy heart.” You might be facing very hard things, but I promise you, there is something to be thankful for. Recently my Grandpa went to be with Jesus. Even though I was so thankful he was free from his frail body and mind that had been lost to Alzheimer’s, I was sad. The reality that he was gone and I wouldn’t see him again hit me with an unexpected wave of sadness. 

I let myself sit there in that sadness and then I began to thank God for the time I had with my Grandpa. I thanked God for the moment when I was a teenager that he looked at me and told me that God’s anointing was on my life. I thanked God that he believed in Doug and I as we led a youth conference, Generation Unleashed, so much that he drove down from Canada to be there! He jumped right in and was dancing at the altars with thousands of teenagers surrounding him. Ear plugs in and all. You couldn’t stop my Grandpa from worshipping with all his heart, loud as can be. I am so thankful for that picture in my mind. I thanked God that he left us with a legacy and example of a life lived for God’s Kingdom. The list went on and on, till I sat there with tears streaming down my face, yet filled with joy beyond measure. Thankfulness can be found anywhere it is sought. 

These shifts in perspective, will allow you to go from an outside-in life to an inside-out life. Pray, trust, rejoice, be thankful. They are key ingredients to JOY. The fullness of joy that we all are seeking. 

God is drawing you in right now, friend, to a new way of living. Pursue Jesus not joy. Allow him to daily realign your heart. Trust Him in the hard times. And never forget to daily pray, trust, rejoice, and be thankful! I promise you, something inside will begin to push out, and you will find yourself living a new life with FULLNESS of JOY. 

My inside-out work:  

It’s time to do the inside work that will impact how you face your day! Grab a journal and take some time to do these four things. Make this a daily habit as you develop a life that is filled with JOY.

Pray – What are those things that are on your heart right now? Bring your burdens and requests to God. He wants to carry these burdens for you. 

Trust – List some things that are making you anxious. Now replace those thoughts with a statement of trusting God in these areas. 

Rejoice – Choose to see God in everything. Give your day fully to God. Surrender your will to His. Make a choice to rejoice for all that God has done in your life. 

Be Thankful – Make a list of things that you are thankful for. List the things that really make you grateful for what God has done in your life. Let it flow as long as you need to!

My JOY declaration today: 

God is changing me from the inside out. Thank you Jesus for giving me JOY today regardless of what is going on in my life. I choose to rejoice throughout my day no matter what the day holds. I give you my day, all the surprises, all the ups and downs. Today I declare this verse over my life:

Psalm 118:24 (NIV) This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. 

Now, go and have a great day!