Joy is waking up in the morning and knowing, “Life is good.” Joy is waking up to problems and knowing, God is with me, these problems will be solved or they will lead to good. Joy is knowing that Bible study and prayer are keys to success.
#1, Seek to find God’s blessings because they lead to joy. Study, “Verses blessed,” and articles on being blessed, then strive to do what they say. Be patient after you change to find God’s blessings. It takes longer than you think.
#2 Study God’s promises:
Psalm 37:4 ESV Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Don’t delight in money or pleasure. Delight yourself in the Lord and watch Him start to give you everything. Once again, put in the work and “Be patient.”
Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Psalm 84:11 ESV For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Joy is having “No good thing withheld from you.” This is a conditional promise for those who walk uprightly. Work at living uprightly, and “patiently” wait for the long-term promise to start to happen.
Joshua 1:9 ESV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”
You can be confident in all of the Bible’s promises coming true if you constantly focus on doing what this verse says. Have patience, it will happen if you consistently put in the work.
#3 Once you are doing the above steps, then you will begin to find great joy by being in God’s presence.
Psalm 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.”
After you have decided to go to war with sin and to find God’s will for you, you will find great joy in spending a block of time in Bible-study, and prayer. I insist on living in joy, so I insist on spending a block of time in Bible-study, and prayer.
I really want pleasures forevermore, so I insist on spending time focusing on what God wants me to do.
Follow these 3 keys to finding joy. Work consistently and patiently to make it happen. In my life, doing so was the best thing I ever did.
We either fight addiction with power or without it. When we study key verses, power enters our lives. When we declare war on sin, power enters our lives. When we strain to pray all the time, power enters our lives. Daily Bible reading adds power, and praising the Lord adds power. Praying to be filled with the Spirit adds power. Praying to find our purpose adds power.
Second, believe the Bible as written. You can deeply trust the literal versions: NKJV, NIV, NASV, ESV. If a verse does not make sense to you, read it every day until it does. God loves to see a person wrestling to understand and obey scripture. Doing so adds power.
Third, can we quit sinning? The answer is both yes and no. We can go to war with specific sins and start to cut them out. At some point, we will cut certain sins out if we fight enough. We all know people who drank too much but then quit drinking. They quit their most problematic sin, and you can quit your most problematic sin as well.
Fourth, we can cut out specific sins, but some sin will be missed. My brother knew some guy who said, “I don’t sin anymore.” Obviously, his pride is ruining his message. If he said, “I always go to war with sin, and I am starting to see its grip on me fading.” That is saying it in a way more people would believe, and even try to copy.
Fifth, almost all of the techniques I recommended make our bad desires decrease, and that allows the Holy Spirit to increase “in us.” “He” does not sin. If we actually die to ourselves as the Bible tells us to… “He” would steer us on a sinless course for as long as we allow Him to do so. I am always, no, often, trying to do that. I should always try to do that. But no man will ever be perfect in doing that. But trying to improve, is the smartest thing we can do.
Finally, dying to self is the key to joy. The more we work on it, the more we will get that very destructive sin out of our lives.