so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects…..joyously giving thanks to the Father….” Colossians 1:10-12

As we visited, my friend told me that she was trying to be more like me. “You are so happy,” she said. I chuckled as I went on to explain that it wasn’t about being happy at all, but that it was a choice I made daily to be thankful and that the joy came from having a personal relationship with Jesus!

Joy truly is a gift that comes from knowing Jesus and walking daily with Him. All of us have a choice, whether to choose that gift or not, whether to have a thankful heart in whatever situation we are in, whether to reflect on those things that we can be thankful for in our daily lives. And as we do that, our outlook changes, our inner person is renewed and refreshed and we truly walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

As you face 2016, your situation may not be one of your choosing. But regardless of what it is, there are still things to be thankful for each and every day. Look for them, record them, and turn your heart towards joy as you rejoice in Him Who gave you life eternal. Joy doesn’t take the pain away, but gives us the strength to smile through the tears.

Dear Jesus, thank You that You alone give me the strength to daily choose joy with thanksgiving in every situation I face. Today I will choose to rejoice always, and with thanksgiving, walk in a manner worthy of you. Amen

Take Action

Take some time this week to read the book of Philippians and mark every mention of the words “joy” and “rejoice.” Ask God to give you a heart of joy. Begin to give thanks daily as you face this new year.

Don't leave your gift wrapped.

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