Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice
It is important to realize that before we even think of serving the Lord ‘being happy and content within oneself and with oneself’ has to happen first.
Here are some factors that have led me to this joy-
- Fostering my relationship with God by finding joy and contentment in Him through spending time with Him in reading the Bible and praying every day. It also requires intentional praise and worship throughout the day.
Mat 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and he will add all these things.
Ps 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.
- It is important to be thankful to God no matter what. The scriptures encourage us to let our requests come before the Lord with thanksgiving. A grateful heart leads to joy.
- Be patient and wait. Don’t hurry. Hurry makes us restless. Everything that has value- building relationships, learning a language, etc., takes time and commitment, they cannot be rushed.
Rom 12:12 ‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer’
Have you ever talked with your soul? “My soul, why are you so downcast?”
Ps138:3 When I called you, you answered me and made me bold and strengthened my heart.
Being joyful is not just a feeling but an attitude as well as a state of being. Contentment and joy are influenced by our thought-life. Toxic thoughts have to be identified and dealt with. The more we dwell on them, the less joyful we become.
Out of a joyful heart comes joy to serve. It is good to constantly remind ourselves ‘All I do I do it for the Lord, not for people in the first place’. Try to see Jesus in that person who benefits from your service. And above all, know that it is not your ministry but the Lord’s. That takes away the pressure.
March 2021, Christina Sutter
(Christina has served in Thailand since 2013. During our Retreat in February 2021, she shared from her walk with God through the years, what she does to keep close to God and how she remains joyful in serving the Lord. This article is an excerpt of some of the points from her sharing.)