I’ve added one small habit to my day that has entirely changed my life. Seriously.
No, it isn’t jumping out of bed to do the latest 5 minute exercise fad. It isn’t chugging down a veggie-packed juice recipe or learning to use the latest productivity app. Amazingly, it’s so easy that I am asking myself why I didn’t start doing this simple thing long ago.
But how can one small thing—something that takes less than five minutes of my time—have such an impact on my day? And yet, it has made a dramatic impact on my life and I’d love to share it with you:
A Commandment with a Powerful Punch
I absolutely love God’s promises and I love God’s Word. Often, though, a specific verse becomes so familiar that I want to skip right over it. I’m talking about a Bible verse like this:
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:21-24 (HCSB)
When I started thinking about this verse a few months ago, I noticed that it was not an observation or casual remark about joy. Instead, it was a commandment. As in, “God wants us to do this: rejoice and be glad.”
My life was in a state of complete upheaval. I won’t get into that here, but I certainly did not feel joyful. To be honest, I was downright angry that God had not provided for me in the way I thought He should.
But that’s another story….
During those weeks, I would stew in my bed each morning not wanting to get up. Once my eyes opened, I began thinking about all of the responsibilities and problems waiting for me in the day. It didn’t take but a few minutes to dread the day ahead. Before my feet hit the floor, I was in a bad mood and full of complaints.
Do this: Rejoice! Be glad!
The truth was that my circumstances made me feel weak, beaten down and overcome. But God’s Word told me that those feelings were wrong. God’s word tells me that I am strong, that I can do anything God calls me to do, and that I am more than a conqueror:
What if God would grant me a little grace to start the day a different way?
I found His answer (and grace) in Psalm 118:21-24:
Rejoice (do it!) and be glad (do it!)
So for the next few days—when the alarm clock buzzed oh-too-early—and I found myself dreading the day ahead, I spoke the words from Psalm 118:24: 24: “This is the day which the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
If I heard myself complain about anything at all (something I struggle with), then I would repeat the verse and pray that God would help me obey it. I spoke the verse before getting out of bed and whenever I felt weary or down.
As I thought about the verse God poured out a joy over my day that defied any problems that I was dealing with. I smiled more. I laughed more, and strangely, things didn’t seem so bad after all. One simple commandment (Do this: Rejoice! Be glad!) had the power to transform a day full of self-pity, complaints and doubt into a good one filled with joy, peace and perseverance.
Before long, I didn’t feel weak or beaten down anymore! The joy of the Lord had become my strength.
Holding Fast to an Attitude of Gratitude
This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful! My life is far from perfect, but God has worked every single trial for the good… just as He promised. Jesus literally broke the chains of my fear and set me free from depression! He blesses our family with laughter despite autism and intense financial strain. He amazes me by showing me the great impact that love has made on my son’s journey with autism… and love is so much more powerful than most expensive therapy available.
Every day is a gift. A chance to live and allow ourselves—if we will—to be loved by the Creator of Heaven and Earth. To be a part of His love as we love others, and to be amazed by the restoring power of that love.
It’s an Attitude of Gratitude.
Why don’t you give it a try? Commit to obeying God’s word and say with me, “Today IS the day that the Lord has made. I WILL rejoice.. and be glad in it!
A Thanksgiving Day Promise for You… And a Timely One for Black Friday!
Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say. “More, more.”
I have God’s more-than-enough, More joy in one ordinary day
Than they get in all their shopping sprees. At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.—Psalm 4:6-7 (MSG)
A free gift for you:
I’ve put together a list of 5 free online Bible study tools that I love. If you would like to get the list to help you study Scripture online, just click here and find out how you can download a copy of the list.
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