The Joy of the Lord is our Strength:
The Apostle Paul says that one fruit of the Holy Spirit within every follower of Christ is “joy,” Galatians 5:22. The Holy Spirit is all about life, goodness, hope and peace. Because we are gifted these things without measure we possess a joy that outweighs any difficult circumstance that we find ourselves in. So why do we all too often lose our joy when we are under pressure? Could it be that we are listening to the wrong internal voices?
Try this exercise. Next time you feel under pressure what are the thoughts going through your mind? Are you prone to swearing? Do you get angry with yourself and others? Do you worry so much that it affects your sleep and your eating habits? Satan will use any avenue he can to rob us of our joy.
Psychologist Brian King says that “habits are behaviours that our brain has learned to produce without thinking about it.” He also says that new habits are learned through repetition. However, he dispels the “21 days” theory. One of the variables he talks about is the “reward factor” of the behaviour. As Christians our Bible tells us that God rewards us when we are trying to live faithful lives (Hebrews 11:6). Therefore, each time we are under pressure let’s stop ourselves running on automatic pilot and reacting the way we always may have. Let’s breathe and take a moment to pray. Over time, when we choose to behave differently while under pressure, we learn a new habit which eventually will become automatic. When we choose to remain joyful, hopeful and at peace amidst our difficulties, we are trusting in God. The result is that He blesses us with more joy, peace, hope and love. Remember this….The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength.