How would you rate your “joy level” for 2018?
Did your choices throughout the year (specifically behavior-related) bring an abundance of joy or way too many regrets?
I hope you’re among those in the “abundance of joy” group. But if 2018 was a tough year, I pray 2019 will be better.
Perhaps you’ve been struggling with a temptation that has had such a tight grip on you that you’ve just about decided to stop resisting it. Or you continue to give in to a behavior, even though you hate yourself every time you do.
Many of us struggle with actions we’re not proud of. Whether they’re as addictive as pornography or as destructive as being disrespectful to our spouse, sinful deeds leave us feeling ashamed and hopeless. Why do we sabotage ourselves and doom ourselves to failure by falling for the lie that participating in these activities will fulfill us?
What if, rather than spending time justifying why we should visit that porn site, mouth off to our spouse or cheat on our income taxes, we mentally switched course and did something radically different? How would it change our mindset if we spend that time worshipping God instead?
I realize this sounds crazy – especially when we’re in the grips of temptation. But what if we chose to place ourselves in the grips of praise instead? Wouldn’t it be worth trying, at least once?
I’m not minimizing the stronghold of that sin. I’m maximizing the power of praise – no matter what we’re up against. Let me illustrate. Let’s pray, using Exodus 15:11 as a baseline to get us started:
“Father, there is no god like You. There is no god that compares to Your majesty and Your holiness, for You, alone, are awesome in splendor. So I come humbly before You in great need of Your wonder-working power to change my heart and my will.”
Then, be completely honest with your heavenly Father about your struggle. Thank Him for all the times He’s delivered you and acknowledge that you’ve made it this far because of Him.
I am confident that the more often we do this, the higher our 2019 will rank on the “joy-level” scale.
What about you?
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- Will you consider trying this? Just once, give it a sincere effort. See how praising a holy, wonder-working God can change your heart and will. Then consider doing it again the next time. And the next.
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