What does remembering have to do with joy?
Last year I shared a story about having to pick up my husband’s socks off of the bathroom floor. I wasn’t happy about my situation. I whined. And I complained about it. Eventually my ungrateful attitude started altering my outlook on things. Instead of being thankful for all of the good things my husband does, I let my inconvenient circumstances—like picking up socks—overshadow my blessings and steal my joy. What I really needed was a good reminding of the many ways God has blessed our family through my husband.
In Psalm 77 Asaph, thought to be the writer of this psalm, is crying out to the Lord in distress. He doesn’t seem to understand why God is allowing his turmoil to continue and complains about his situation. Because of his circumstances he begins to question God and wonders if God has rejected and forgotten him.
Just as it seems Asaph has lost hope, he turns his thoughts around. In Psalm 77:11 he says, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” Asaph then goes on to further remind himself of God’s redeeming power and lists a few of the great deeds and miracles of the Lord.
Are your circumstances leading you to question God? Do you find yourself whining and complaining about your predicament? Perhaps your heart, like mine, needs to be reminded of God’s goodness.
Asaph turned his negative way of thinking around by choosing to remember and declare all of the good things God had done in the past. It’s hard to be thankful, much less joyful, when we’re going through tough times. But if we follow Asaph’s example and choose to focus on God’s goodness and blessings, we can make our way back to a place of thankfulness and joy.
Where do we begin? Just like Asaph, we must remember the ways God has been good in the past. Remembering the ways God has blessed us will help create a thankful mindset, and lead us back to a joyful heart. If you’re struggling to be thankful in your current circumstances I encourage you to make a list of the ways God has blessed you in that specific situation. This exercise this will help take your focus off of your circumstances and turn it back towards God’s goodness. (paper provided below)
For example, when things get hectic at work you could write down ways your job provides for your family. Are you a stay-at-home mom? Are the kids are driving you crazy? Try jotting down all of the ways the kids have made you smile today. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by something going on in your marriage. If this is you try writing down the many ways God has blessed you over the years through your spouse.
A thankful mindset leads to a joyful heart!— Tweet this!
If you find that you’re scrambling to come up with things to be thankful for, I encourage you to seek the Lord through prayer and His word. No one is better at bringing our hearts back to a place of thankfulness than our Heavenly Father! During your time with him, ask Him to show you His goodness and faithfulness. God is good at reminding us of His promises, His power, His greatness, and His blessings. As God brings things to mind write them down, tuck them in your heart, and think about them often.
Once you’ve completed your list, be sure to thank God for each blessing. You’ll be amazed at how this will help create a thankful mindset and put a little joy back in your heart!
Join the conversation: How are you choosing to remember God’s goodness?
To make things easier (and fun) I’ve created a pretty pink & purple floral thankful-for-list for you to use. Each one includes a Psalm of praise and small print of one of my watercolor paintings in the corner. This free printable comes in two sizes and can also be used for any other to-do-list needs you may have. Plus, it’s free to download! (Click on the photos below to print.)
Thank you for joining me. I’m excited to jump into God’s word with you and study the Fruit of Joy! This article is a part of our current series, Sweet Smelling Fruit—Cultivating a Heart that Lives by the Spirit. Right now we are taking a closer look at #Joy.
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