Stop Worry, Return to JOY and Put on the Helmet of Salvation – Joyful & Battle Ready #6

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.
Stop Worry, Return to JOY and Put on the Helmet of Salvation

Stop Worry, Return to JOY and Put on the Helmet of Salvation

Stop Worry, Return to JOY and Put on the Helmet of Salvation (Joyful & Battle Ready #6)

Are you ready to stop the worry and return to JOY?  Worry is the big JOY thief that brings on fretting. In only a few dances with fretting, you will be exhausted. Your JOY will be sidelined. Join us today and discover how to stop the worry, return to JOY, and put on the Helmet of Salvation to protect your thoughts and reasoning about what God has done for you.

Join us today as we cover these points:

Do You Worry?

  • You will find that worry is not only a joybuster but also a joy thief.
  • In Matthew 6: 25 34, Jesus talks directly to us about worry.

Worry Defined

  • The Cambridge Dictionary defines –  to give way to anxiety or uneasiness, to allow one’s mind to continually dwell on difficulties and troubles, to think about problems and become distracted.
  • Even Jesus shows the anxiety and distraction connection.
  • Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things, but there is a need for only one thing (Luke 10 41- 42).

Fretting

  • The Hebrew word we translate as fretting includes firing up rage and kindling anger.
  • The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a fret as a worry, an annoyance, a discontentment that gnaws at you.
  • Fretting eats away at your peace.
  • Psalm 37 advises, Do NOT fret.

Actions Advised in Philippians 4: 4-7

  • Rejoice means to return to joy. Actively be glad, actively pursue joy.
  • In prayer and supplication, make your requests known to the Lord.
  • For every need you express in prayer, offer a thanksgiving about something related.
  • Receive peace. The peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

The Helmet of Salvation

  • Ephesians 6:17 says we must “take the helmet of salvation.
  • Pope Francis says the helmet is “not so much that of acknowledging the Resurrection of Jesus — everyone believes in it — but of believing in the resurrection of the dead.”
  • The helmet of a Roman soldier called a galea, was designed to cover the head with thick leather enclosed in beaten metals of iron and bronze, protecting the head from weapons of warfare causing injury.
  • The helmet of salvation shows that Satan’s flaming arrows target our minds and are directed at our faith in Jesus, who paid the price for our salvation with his passion, death, and resurrection.
  • The devil will try to discourage you and destroy your faith.

Personal Reflection: Helmet of Salvation Declarations

  • Take the Helmet of Salvation in defense against the evil one who pushes doubts to divert you from the truth of eternal life in Jesus Christ.
  • Starting today, say the Apostles Creed often.
  • Remind yourself of the Helmet of Salvation Declarations with the truths from Scripture:
  1. Eternal life is in Jesus, and it’s for me (Romans 8: 12).
  2. I will not be anxious about my salvation (Romans 5: 8-9).
  3. I do not need to worry; I can know I have eternal life (1 John 5: 11-13).

  Cup of JOY Women

Consider hosting a weekly one-hour cup of joy women’s small group study that accompanies this podcast, and you can begin anytime.  It’s free!

  • For information, please email karen@wrapyourselfinjoy.com

Links

 

 

 

Defeat Joy Busters & Take Up the Shield of Faith (JOYFUL & Battle Ready #5)

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

How are you at defeating Joy Busters?  Everyone faces those situations that can steal their JOY. But you can develop a plan to stop their impact on your life. You can become AWARE of the JOY Busters, UNDERSTAND their sources, and TAKE ACTION to stop their influence. Join the podcast today to uncover the actions you can take to defeat JOY Busters and learn how to” take up the shield of faith to quench the flaming arrows” coming at you.

JOY Busters

  • Merriam-Webster defines a buster “as a person or thing that breaks up, overpowers, or eliminates something.”
  • A JOY buster breaks up, overpowers, or steals your joy and includes, for example, interruptions to plans, hurt feelings, discouragements, fear, family quarrels, busyness, complaints, and weariness. Today, we will cover these points:

Joy Busting Responses

  • How do you respond to JOY Busters, called JOYBUSTING?
  • Joybusting happens when our emotions take over, and our responses leave us with more negative feelings and challenging relationships.
  • Joybusting includes, for example, angry outbursts, discouragement, fretting, gossip, negative thoughts, overeating, over partying, over drinking, over shopping, profane talk,  procrastination, promiscuity,  more quarrels, bitterness, and more.

Plan to Reject Troubles of the Heart

  • In Galatians 5: 16-26, St. Paul reminds us that to conquer the JOYbusting, which he calls “works of the flesh,” is to LIVE by the Holy Spirit.
  • Timothy Gallagher says each person needs an action plan to reject troubles of the heart (JOY busters and joy busting): (1) Be aware, (2) Understand, and (3) Take action. (The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living, 2018).

 TIP: Three QUICK Actions to Defeat JOY Busting

  • You can take three simple actions to stop JOY Busting: thanksgiving, imagery, and persistence.

(1) Thanksgiving – immediately turn to Jesus with genuine thanksgiving

(2) Imagination- use holy imagination and picture Jesus with arms outstretched. You give him your joy buster.

(3) Persist – Persist in praising God and remembering the Thanksgiving JOY.

  • Also, consider getting a prayer partner to pray for more JOY for each other and to defeat JOYbusting.

The Shield of Faith

  • Ephesians 6:16. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
  • Pope Francis, when speaking on this verse, tells us how important it is to take the shield of faith: The devil is a liar; he is the father of lies. And as St. Paul says, we must be girded in the truth, armored in justice.Without faith, you cannot go forward; you cannot defend the salvation of Jesus. We need this shield of faith because the devil does not throw flowers at us but “flaming arrows” to kill us (General Audience, October 30, 2014).

The Roman Soldier’s Shield

  • In Roman history, at the time of Paul, a military soldier held a body shield to about 2.5 x 4 feet to protect himself from an enemy who hurled flaming arrows (dipped in pitch and set on fire) called “plumbata.”
  • Often, the soldiers interlocked shields in a “tortoise” formation – they raised their shields together overhead and in front so it looked like a tortoise.

Faith Defined

  • The word for faith used in New Testament Greek is “pistis,” which means to agree with, trust in, and live out what you believe.
  • Translated belief or faith, it appears at least 200 times in the New Testament
  • Hebrews 11: 1 defines faith, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” and then gives examples, including Noah, Abraham, and Moses.

Jesus is Our Shield

  • The Lord God says he is our shield. See Psalm 28:7, Psalm 33:20.
  • Proverbs 30:5. Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Take Up Our Shield of Faith

1) Read the Word of God every day and keep the Scriptures in your mind and heart. Romans 10:17.

2) Pray that moment. Hebrews 2:2 says.

3) Turn to a Prayer Partner or prayer group – In Tortoise Formation, you lock shields with others.

Personal Reflection –Shield of Faith Declarations

You can take up a shield of Faith against temptations, fear, and doubt.” Call on the name of Jesus and repeat these truths aloud and often.

  • When the devil sends the flaming arrow of fear, you say Psalm 56:3. O Lord God, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” or Isaiah 41: 10. [the Lord says] … I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
  • When the devil sends the flaming arrow of temptation and doubts, you say Romans 8: 33-34. Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. He forgives us.
  • When the devil sends a flaming arrow saying you are getting old or God no longer cares and cannot use you, you say in Isaiah 46:4, The Lord says, even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. Or Psalm 92: 13-14. The Lord says They are planted in the house of the Lord…In old age, they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap…

Finally, thank the Lord daily for your joys and for helping you defeat the JOY Busters.

  Cup of JOY Women

Consider hosting a weekly one-hour Cup of Joy Women’s small group study that accompanies this podcast, and you can begin anytime.  It’s free!

Links

Singing for JOY & Slipping on Gospel Shoes – Joyful & Battle Ready #4

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.
Singing for JOY & Slipping on Gospel Shoes

Singing for JOY & Slipping on Gospel Shoes

Singing for JOY &  Slipping on Gospel Shoes (#4 JOYFUL & Battle Ready)

Are you singing for JOY? Did you know there is a connection between praising God and experiencing more JOY and Peace? Join our podcast today as we cover singing for JOY and slipping on shoes, ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

JOY and PEACE

When we praise God, we surrender everything to Him and proclaim that He is God, and we are NOT. He has everything in our lives under control, and even when we do not see it, we can trust Him. Even in hardships, we can sing praises to the Lord, and he will comfort us with deep, calming JOY. In addition, we can put on shoes of Gospel peace as part of the armor we wear everywhere we go.  In our  JOYFUL & Battle Ready series, Podcast #4 will cover these points:

The Praise-Joy Connection

  • Are your prayers primarily prayers of petition?
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #2644 encourages us to use all five forms of prayer: blessing/adoration, petition with contrition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.
  • There is a particular link of JOY with praise or thanksgiving prayers.

Enter God’s Courts with Praise

  • Psalm 100:3 says: Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise…
  • Pope Francis tells us to “NOT be formal Christians, prisoners of formality” (January 28, 2020).

A Garment of Praise

  • In Luke 4, Jesus said he was the fulfillment of Isaiah 61: 3- “to provide the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of discouragement.”
  • Jesus can give you a garment of praise, and it comes with the oil of JOY.

Paul and Silas Praise in a Desperate Situation, Miracles Happen

  • In Acts 16, at midnight and in the wretchedness of a Philippian jail, imprisoned Paul and Silas praised God as chains fell off and prison doors were opened.
  • CCC #2639 says, “Praise is the form of prayer…it gives God glory for his own sake, quite beyond what he has done, but simply for who he is.”

A Garment of Praise

  • Praise God with the psalms, instruments, singing, shouting, and clapping hands (Psalm 150, 100).
  • Praise does not have to be complicated. You can tell Jesus you love Him and praise Him …
  • Spend just one minute of praise this week, and it will be life-changing.

The Armor of God – The Battle Shoes

  • Ephesians 6: 15: As shoes for your feet, put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.
  • Roman soldiers wore shoes to avoid the battlefield’s rocks, sticks, and debris.
  • Shoes were a combination of heavy sandals and boots with soles of layered leather clenched together with metal studs that could grip the ground for traction.

Peace

  • Isaiah 52: 7 says: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
  • Peace means harmony and tranquility, without inner conflict, even amid chaos and upheaval.
  • In John 16: 33, Jesus said: I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Proclaim

  • In Mark 16:15, [Jesus] said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
  • The best way to start sharing your faith is to share your relationship with Jesus, including His answers to your prayers and your thanksgiving.

St. Pope John Paul II

  • Pope John Paul II in Catechesis in Our Time (1979) said the faithful must proclaim the Gospel message. The Gospel kerygma: – “ the initial ardent proclamation by which a person is brought to the decision to entrust himself to Jesus Christ by faith — is gradually deepened, developed,”  and “channeled towards Christian practice in the Church and the world” (CT 25).
  • Remind your friend how much God loves her and wants her to experience His love and presence.
  • Invite her to entrust her life to Jesus, to give Him their baggage and shame, and to ask for forgiveness.
  • You can prepare yourself with a few words of Scripture about God’s love and how Jesus is the sacrifice for all sin. Invite the person to trust Jesus now.
  • Then, of course, invite your friends to church and keep helping them along the Christian journey.

Personal Reflection – Shoes of Peace Declarations

  • These Shoes of Peace Declarations from Scripture can help you stand firm in peace so that you are “ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.”
  • When the devil tries to make you afraid to proclaim, you can proclaim: The Prince of Peace lives in me. (John 14:23). I have his peace. I will not let my heart be troubled or afraid. I will stand firm in Jesus, my Lord, and my strength, my God in whom I trust.  Repeat John 14:27.
  • When the devil whispers, you are NOT ready to proclaim the Gospel. You say: In Jesus, I am prepared and willing to share the Gospel with anyone. It is what Jesus calls me to do. I am not ashamed to talk about Jesus and my faith with family, friends, or others. Repeat Romans 1: 16.  I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”
  • Finally, remember to praise and thank the Lord -just one minute of praising the Name of Jesus every day can be life-changing and joy-filling. You can find a free bookmark on my website to help you with ways to praise the Lord.

 Cup of JOY Women

Consider hosting a weekly one-hour Cup of Joy Women’s small group study that accompanies this podcast, and you can begin anytime.  It’s free!

  • Pray about accepting this opportunity to engage others and gently evangelize a small group of friends over coffee or tea.
  • For information, email me or go to Cup of Joy Women.

Links

Drenched with JOY & Armored in Truth (JOYFUL & Battle Ready #2)

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.
Drenched with JOY & Armored in Truth

Drenched with JOY

Would you like to be drenched in JOY and armored in truth?  Are you willing to put on the armor of God to stand firm to keep the joy, to stand strong against fear, and to put on the armor of God to protect yourself from lies?  Join us today as we cover how to define JOY, receive more joy, and put on the belt of truth.

Heavenly JOY

Last week, we learned that Jesus has complete JOY for you, God the Father has JOY and pleasures for you, and the Holy Spirit produces JOY in your life. So, how do we get more of this JOY?

Today, we cover these points:

A Niagara Falls of God’s Love & JOY

  • Many times, we come to our Heavenly Father—who is a Niagara Falls of Love, and we hold out only a teaspoon to catch it.
  • We must increase our capacity to receive more great love and joy.

Defining JOY

  • After searching many definitions of Joy and primarily based on the teachings of our last three popes, we find a definition of true JOY.
  • We cover the quote from my book, Wrap Yourself in JOY.
  • The definition involves mind, soul, body, and spirit and its Trinitarian.

 

The More JOY Prayer Guide

  • We ask God to increase our capacity for JOY.
  • We receive His Love and Joy daily.
  • We thank Jesus for the JOY Rays.
  • We praise Him with Scripture.

It’s Warfare

  • Ephesians 6 was written when Roman soldiers and guards surrounded Paul in prison.
  • The Holy Spirit likely inspired him as he observed the Roman soldier’s armor.

The Belt of Truth

  • The BELT for a soldier served as a girdle to support his core or loins and stabilize his weapons.
  • Pilate answered Jesus, “What is truth?”
  • In John 14:6, Jesus defined truth: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • Run to Jesus, our truth. Let him lead you.

Put on Truth

  • The devil’s favorite lies are targeted at your JOY, happiness, and identity as a Christian.
  • Do not give into deception, diversion, discouragement, or division.
  • In John 17: 17, Jesus prayed, “Consecrate them in the truth. Your [God’s]word is truth.”
  • Fill your mind with the truths of God and His word. Don’t let a day go by without reading Scripture, even for just 5 minutes.

Personal Reflection: Biblical Belt of Truth Declarations

Girdle UP!! Make Jesus your Core.  Do not give into deception, diversion, discouragement, or division. Declare and remind yourself of these truths:

1.     For Deception (Identity), the Truth: I am the daughter [or son] of God. God knows me and loves me. Romans 8:15.“

2.     For Diversion (God doesn’t hear my prayers), the Truth:  My prayers are powerful and effective, and nothing can separate me from the love of God. He listens, and He is answering.  James 5: 16.

3.     For Discouragement (You are fearful- God can’t meet your needs), the Truth: The Lord has not given me a spirit of fear but one of power, love, and a sound mind.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, I can understand His Word and reserve time to pray and read Scripture daily. 2 Timothy 1:7.

 Cup of JOY Women

Consider hosting a weekly one-hour Cup of Joy Women’s small group study for seven weeks.  It accompanies this podcast, and you can begin anytime.  It’s free!

  • Pray about accepting this opportunity to engage others and gently evangelize by hosting a small group of friends over coffee or tea.
  • For information, email me or go to Cup of Joy Women.

Links

 

JOY Series #9 –Stop the Worry & Grab the Plunger

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Do you have a plunger handy? “What does a plunger have to do with finding the joy and stopping the worry?” A lot! We all need plungers for messy situations - for the sudden, unexpected events, joy busters or "stuff" that can ruin our day, take our time or energy, and steal our JOY. Today you will be reminded of all the JOY maintenance tools that we have covered in our Find the JOY podcast Series. You can stop the worry and grab the plunger. #podcast

Do you have your JOY plunger handy? We all need plungers for messy situations that can ruin our day, take our time or energy, and steal our JOY. Join us today and grab a summary of JOY maintenance tools from our Find the JOY Podcast series that can help maintain true JOY. You can stop the worry and grab the plunger.

Grab the Plunger

Do you have a  plunger handy? “What does a plunger have to do with finding the joy and stopping the worry?” A lot! We all need plungers for messy situations – for the sudden, unexpected events, joy busters or “stuff” that can ruin our day, take our time or energy, and steal our JOY.  Today you will be reminded of all the JOY maintenance tools that we have covered in our Find the JOY podcast Series. Plus you will hear about the next Podcast series: Advent JOY. It’s never too early to start an Advent JOY Journey.

Tool #1 -Declarations of God’s Love for YOU

Look to the Love of the Trinity. Tool #1 -Declarations. Biblical JOY is rooted in the love of the Trinity-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Everyday remind yourself of these truths: God LOVES ME and offers ME fullness of JOY. Jesus loves me offers me His complete JOY. The Holy Spirit loves me & produces in your life.  I am invited into their LOVE ( John 15, Psalm 16, and Galatians 5).

Tool #2 – The 5-Minute More JOY Prayer Guide

God  is a Niagara Falls of Love. To Receive more Love and JOY from God, follow the prayer guide with the thee four prompts: Ask, Receive JOY, Thank and Read Scripture.

Tool #3 – Four Biblical Affirmations

True JOY is based in the Trinity and involves Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit. The JOY Affirmations are based on the definition of JOY and can be repeated everyday: (1) God LOVES me (John 15: 9-11);( 2) God is NEAR to me; He is with me always (Psalm 139: 1-6, Matthew 28: 20); (3) God is my HELP; He is FOR me (Isaiah 41: 10, 13); and (4) The Holy Spirit PRODUCES JOY in ME; I will exude God’s JOY (Galatians 5: 22-23).

Tool #4 -The WRAP Method for JOY

WRAP Yourself in JOY & Scripture every day. Read and pray Scripture with the WRAP template for hearing God can conversing with Him: W=write down the words that arise out of a Bible reading; R=reflect on and enter into conversation with the Jesus over the words; A=apply what God is speaking in the message, and P =praise and pray to receive the grace needed to respond. Finally, REST and RECEIVE God’s JOY, Love & peace.

Tool #5 – Praise God with His Attributes from Scripture

JOY and Praising God are connected. You can use praises such as these: O Lord, You are Awesome (Deut. 10:17), Jesus, You are Forgiving (Ps. 103: 1-2), God, You are Beautiful (Ps. 24: 5) Lord God, You are Merciful (Ps. 103: 4-5), God, You are Mighty God (Ps. 89: 8) or use Praise Bursts – I love You Jesus, I praise You Jesus, etc. See the free bookmarks for many suggestions for praising Gon on the WRAPYourselfinJOY.com website.

Tool #6 -The Plan and TIP

Stop Joy Busters with a Plan and a TIP. Follow these steps: 1) Be Aware- Notice when your heart is troubled and your joy is diminished; 2) Understand the source of the joy buster/ JOYbusting; and 3) Take Action to reject joybusting instead of spiraling down into a pit of negativity (Rev. Timothy M. Gallagher, The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living . Use TIP: (1) THANK. Recall something for which you are grateful and thank Jesus for it.  (2) IMAGINE. Picture Jesus with arms outstretched, you give Him your JOY Buster and you receive His peace instead.(3) PERSIST. Persist in remembering the JOY or loving emotions of your thanksgiving to reset your brain neurons to JOY.

Tool #7 – BEGIN AGAIN

Start over if you fail in resisting JOY busters. Give your weaknesses to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Commit your worries, anxieties, and cares to the Heart of Jesus. Using Holy Imagery, put your worries, fears, frets and more into His Sacred Heart and leave them there. Begin Again.

Tool #8 – The Philippians 4 Plan to Stop Worry

Arrest WORRY as it cannot add even an hour to your life according to Jesus. Paul tells us exactly what to do to arrest worry in Philippians 4: 7-11: 1) PAUSE—make up your mind to STOP worrying, 2) Pray for your needs, 3) Thank God for his blessings with every petition, and 4) Receive God’s peace.

 Tool #9 – Keep a JOY Journal

Record your JOYS in a Journal. Using a notebook or notes app on your phone, record your JOY thanksgivings daily so you can always give God praise, offer thanks and be ready to share them.

Tool #10 -Find the JOY, Stop the Worry, a Grab a Plunger with a Prayer Partner or Prayer Group

Don’t go it alone. Find Friendship JOY. Go to church. Study how to find true JOY in Scripture with a friend or small group. Pray with a friend to find more JOY every week and have them pray for you. It will make a huge difference in your life. You will be able to stop the worry and grab the plunger.

ADVENT JOY

Next, I will be podcasting a series on Advent JOY. Please join me as week meet the people, events, and prayer at the first coming of Jesus. You can go to my website and subscribe at https://wrapyourselfinjoy.com/ so you can follow the podcast and learn more about Advent JOY.

You can download a Bookmark Summary of all the JOY Maintenance Tools from Podcast #9 at my website: WRAPYourselfinJOY.com.

Check out more JOY podcasts here!

Find the WRAP Yourself in JOY book by clicking here.

JOY Series #8: Arresting the Big JOY Thief – WORRY

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

How is your worry level lately? Worry is not just a JOY Buster. It's a big JOY thief and it brings on fretting. In only a few dances with fretting, you will be exhausted and any JOY you once had will be greatly challenged. Join us today and discover how to arrest the big JOY thief Worry, stop the fretting and rest in God’s love for you.#podcast

How are you at arresting the Big JOY thief -WORRY? Worry is not just a JOY Buster. It’s a big JOY thief and it brings on fretting. In only a few dances with fretting, you will be exhausted and any JOY you once had will be greatly challenged. Join us today and discover how to arrest the big JOY thief Worry, stop the fretting and  rest in God’s love.

Can your worry and rejoice at the same time?

Have you ever pondered the question, “Can you worry and rejoice at the same time?” Today, you will find the answer. We will especially tackle what to do with WORRY because it will not only take your JOY but your peace as well. Worry’s companions are anxiety and fear so, dealing with worry will help you stop these thieves too.  You will learn the four actions to take to replace worry with JOY, stop the fretting and rest in God’s love, all while responding with gentleness.

God Can Give You His JOY

I used to worry about everything. But when my house burned down and my husband died, I eventually stopped worrying. The worst had happened to me—more than I could imagine or worry about! But God got me through it all, and in the process, I learned to TRUST HIM. He took all my tears, counted them and kept them in his heart.  Psalm 56 says this:  O God, You have kept count of my tossings [wanderings]; You put my tears in your bottle.   Are they not in your record?…  This I know, that God is for me. 11 in God I trust; I am not afraid.”  So God put all my tears in a bottle, kept them in his heart, gave me his joy AND I took it !!!

Do Not be Overcome with Worry

In Matthew 6: 25-34, Jesus tells us not to worry about even our most basic needs of food, water, and clothing. He didn’t say we should shirk our responsibilities of trying to make a living, but he told us not to be overcome with worry — even for our basic needs. God so beautifully takes care of birds of the air and clothes the flowers with great splendor, how much more will He take care of you? In fact, Jesus said worry will not add “one single hour to your span of life.”

Worry Skips Ahead of God’s Provision

Worry focuses on what can go wrong, what might go wrong, what will likely go wrong in the future. It skips ahead of God’s provision and can sap you of your JOY, strength, and your peace. The problem with worry is that it leads to fretting.

Fretting

The Bible says NOT only to stop worrying, but to stop fretting. The Hebrew word we translate as fretting includes the idea of firing up rage, kindling anger.  The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a FRET as a worry, annoyance, or discontentment that “gnaws at you” and “involves an irritated state of mind”(www.dictionary.com/browse/fret).  Fretting takes worry to a new level. It eats away at your peace. It will eventually be expressed in outward anger or other ways.

Physical Impact on Your Body

Worry as well as fretting, fear and anxiety can have a physical impact on our bodies. According to medical research, worry, fretting, fear, and anxiety have been linked to indigestion or digestive disorders, fatigue, sleeplessness, ulcers, heart problems, skin ailments, lack of concentration and addictions, to name a few physical symptoms and outcomes (For example: www.webmd.com/balance/guide/how-worrying-affects-your-body.

Actions

St. Paul in Philippians 4: 4-7 tells us what to do. (1) Make a decision to rejoice in the Lord—return to JOY and seek JOY from the Lord instead of sitting down in a puddle of worrying and fretting. (2) Pray for your needs and the needs of others.  (3) For every need you express in prayer, offer a related thanksgiving.  (4) Receive God’s peace.

Walk in Gentleness

In Philippians 5: 5,  St. Paul sandwiches between v. 4 and v. 6 these words: ”Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.“ The USCCB Online Commentary says: The Lord is near “echoes the perpetual presence of the Lord with us (i.e., Psalm.119:151).” Fretting and worry can turn to rage or anger quickly. But when you practice being gentle, you shut down your stronger, harsher, angry JOYbusting responses.

 Note. If you continue to experience excessive worry, anxiety or fear, please do not hesitate to see a professional—a medical doctor or counselor. In fact you should in these cases. Sometimes we need more professional help for our bodies and our lives, and God is with us in this plan too.

You can download a Bookmark to help you Arrest WORRY from Podcast #8 at my website: WRAPYourselfinJOY.com.

Check out more podcasts here!

Find the WRAP Yourself in JOY book by clicking here.

 

JOY Series #7 – Begin Again and Defeat JOY Busters

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Are you defeating JOY Busters? OR Are you JOYbusting in response to all those situations, people and communication that steal your joy? Join us today as we continue our focus on how to defeat those JOY-sapping experiences and BEGIN AGAIN. #podcastEpisode #7 –Begin Again and Defeat JOY Busters

Are you ready to Begin Again and Defeat JOY Busters? OR Are you still JOYbusting in response to all those situations, people and communication that steal your joy? Join us today as we continue our focus on how to defeat those JOY-sapping experiences and BEGIN AGAIN.

JOYbusting

Reacting to JOY Busters with more JOYbusting responses leads downward on a path of negativity? In Begin Again-Defeating JOY Busters, Part 2, we will discuss the choices each one makes in responding to those situations that seem to steal our JOY.  You can choose to respond with more JOYbusting, or you can follow a new plan.  Even in unwise reactions that you later regret, you can choose to leave the past behind and say, “I BEGIN AGAIN.”

The Plan to Stop JOYbusting

According to Fr. Timothy Gallagher and based on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s guide for rejecting troubles of the heart, each of us can follow this plan to defeat the JOY Busters:

  • BE AWARE of your troubled heart and loss of joy (e.g., JOY Busters).
  • UNDERSTAND your not-of-God responses that further block your joy (JOYbusting).
  • TAKE ACTION to reject the responses such as quarrels, outbursts of anger, profane talk, bitterness, overindulgence, sleeplessness, over-sleeping, withdrawal, or gossip.[i] Take the actions (summarized in TIP) as explained in Podcast 6 : Defeating Joy Busters, Part 1.

Begin Again and Defeating Joy Busters

Fr. Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V. in his book Begin Again: The Life and Spiritual Legacy of Bruno Lanteri recommends that we should always BEGIN AGAIN. That means we do not allow ourselves to be overcome with discouragement. If you are confronted with opposition or self-condemnation and other JOY Busters or JOYbusting, remember these words: Begin Again. “Seek always to keep your poor heart in peace, and encourage it, and always to serve God with holy joy…. Say with boldness, “Now I begin, and go forward constantly in God’ service. Do not look back so often, because one who looks back cannot run…. Begin [again] every day, because it is for every day, even for every hour of the day. Begin Again.”

Remembering Graces and St. Teresa of Avila

Psalm 34 psalm invites us to “taste and see” that the Lord is good. His love is healing. He will never reject or despise you. Never! He loves you completely and is the only answer to a troubled world. Please remember this.  Saint Teresa of Avila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus,  says that in trials its easy to forget and not remember what God has done for us. She describes these forgetting tactics: During the “very bitter trials of my soul… all the favors the Lord had granted me were forgotten. There remained only a memory to cause pain; they were like a dream. [T]he devil… knows that in remembering the graces received, we find strength against his present temptation, and for this reason, he tries to lead us to forget” (The Collected Works of Teresa of AvilaThe Book of Her Life, 2nd ed., 1987).

JOY Journal

You will learn to create a JOY Journal that can help turn your life into one of positive thanksgiving. Your JOY Journal can be a small note card. For example, I have often added a special scripture to a small card.  Then every time I wait in line, I read it and  record a thanksgiving for new JOYs and Blessings. Or you can use an inexpensive spiral-bound notebook (4” x 6” or 5” x 7” sizes work great) or open a Notes app folder on your cell phone and print on the cover or folder: “JOY JOURNAL.

You can download a Bookmark to help you Begin Again and Defeat JOY Busters from Podcast #7 at my website: WRAPYourselfinJOY.com.

Check out more podcasts here!

Find the WRAP Yourself in JOY book by clicking here.

JOY Series #6 – Defeating JOY Busters

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Would you like to stop the JOY Busters in your life? Everyone faces those times, circumstances and people that seem to break up, overpower, block, or steal their JOY. But you can stop the impact on your JOY. You can become AWARE of your JOY Busters, UNDERSTAND their sources, and TAKE ACTION to stop their impact on your JOY. Join us today and discover the actions or TIPs you must take to stop the JOY Buster’s effect on your life. #podcast

Defeating JOY Busters

How are you at defeating JOY Busters? Everyone faces those times, circumstances and people that seem to break up, overpower, block, or steal their JOY. But you can stop their impact on your life. You can become AWARE of your JOY Busters, UNDERSTAND their sources, and TAKE ACTION to stop their influence on your JOY. Join us today to discover the actions you can take to defeat JOY Buster’s and stop their effect on your life.

A JOY Buster

What is a JOY Buster?  You know!  Merriam Webster defines a buster “as a person or thing that breaks up, overpowers or eliminates something.” So, a JOY buster breaks up, overpowers, blocks, or steals your joy.

Flash Prayer

In Matthew 11: 28-30, Jesus says:  “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. When you feel your JOY is busted, why not start with a flash prayer (once called ejaculations) like this one: “Jesus, I give you my burdens, weariness, heaviness and all JOY Busters. I want to experience your rest, your peace and your JOY.” Isaiah 61: 3 says,  you want to give me “the oil of JOY” for sadness, mourning or heaviness.

Responses to Joy Busters

How do you respond to JOY Busters? What do you use to fight off your JOY Busters? Check all that apply.  __ angry outbursts, __ complacency, __ avoidance or withdrawal __ complaints, __ partying or drinking to excess, __ overindulgence, __ criticism, __ striving after possessions, __ gossip/ slander, __ envy, __ negative thoughts, __ profane talk, __ promiscuity, __ quarrels, __ sleeplessness, __ unforgiveness, __ bitterness, or __ fretting.  Paul tells us that the ONLY way to conquer the negative JOY-busting responses he calls “works of the flesh” is to “LIVE by the Holy Spirit” (Galatians 5: 16-26), so we must call on the Holy Spirit for His help.

Develop an Action Plan

Fr. Timothy Gallagher in The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living (2018) says each person needs an action plan to reject troubles of the heart. We all experience times of spiritual consolation where we feel connected with God and sense joy and peace. Also, we all experience spiritual desolation when we allow the enemy to oppress us with troubles of the heart that take our JOY. Fr. Gallagher recommends three steps which are related to JOY:  (1) BE AWARE—Notice what is happening in your inner spiritual experiences- the stirrings of your heart and thoughts. (2) UNDERSTAND—Reflect on the stirrings of your heart and recognize what’s of God and what’s not. Ask yourself, “What is the desolation or JOY Buster responses that contributed to my loss of JOY? (For example, angry outbursts, over-indulgence, jealousy, etc., will lead to avoidance, gossip, profane talk, etc.). (3) TAKE ACTION—Accept and live according to what is of God. Reject and remove what you recognize is not from God. Call upon the Holy Spirit for help to reverse direction and stop the JOY Busters.

 TIP: Three QUICK Actions to Defeat JOY Busting

You can take three simple actions to stop  JOY Busting that leads to spiraling down into further negativity. These actions can be summarized with the acronym TIP: THANKSGIVING, IMAGERY, and PERSISTENCE.  (1) Offer THANKSGIVING – Immediately turn to Jesus with genuine thanksgiving for something related to your JOY Buster. (2) IMAGINE – Use Holy Imagination and picture Jesus with arms outstretched. You give him your JOY Buster. (3) PERSIST – Persist in remembering  the JOY (or pleasurable, peaceful, happy, loving, fun) emotions or feelings.  Stay in the JOY of that thanksgiving for one minute to reset your brain neurons to JOY. Close with a Praise to GOD. Finally, consider getting a prayer partner to pray for more JOY for each other and to defeat JOY Busting.

You can download a Bookmark to help you Defeat JOY Busters from Podcast #6 at my website: WRAPYourselfinJOY.com.

Check out more podcasts here!

Find the WRAP Yourself in JOY book by clicking here.

JOY Series #5 – Praising and Thanking for JOY

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Are you praising and thanking for JOY or a "petition addict" when it comes to prayer? You are not alone if your prayer is mostly asking God for his help, but there is good reason to convert your prayer to praising Joy. Today, you will learn how to expand your prayer life with praise and thanksgiving so that you enjoy God too. There is a huge connection between JOY and offering praise and thanksgiving to God.#podcast

Podcast #5 – Praising and Thanking for JOY

Are you praising and thanking for JOY or are you a “petition addict” when it comes to prayer? You are not alone if your prayer is mostly asking God for his help, but there is good reason to convert your prayer to praising Joy. Today, you will learn how to expand your prayer life with praise and thanksgiving so that you enjoy God too. There is a huge connection between JOY and offering praise and thanksgiving to God.

Praising and Glorifying God Completes Your JOY

In praising God, we surrender everything to Him and proclaim that He is God, and we are NOT. He has everything in our lives under control, and even when we do not see it, we can trust Him. You can offer Him your discouragement, despair and mourning and in turn, receive His oil of JOY and the garment of praise.

C.S. Lewis, a Christian apologist and writer, known for books like Mere Christianity and The Chronicles of Narnia series points out the connection JOY with praise:

“We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly at the turn of the road, to a mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent or to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him [praise Him], God is inviting us to enjoy Him” (Reflections on the Psalms).

Even Pope Francis tells us to “NOT be formal Christians, prisoners of formality” but instead to express our joy of being Christians (Homily, January 28, 2020).

Jesus Wants You Give You a Life of Praise and JOY

Jesus wants to give you a life of praise, like a piece of clothing, in exchange for discouragement, despair, or mourning that wraps you now.  In Luke 4, Jesus said he was fulfilling Isaiah 61: 3: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me…He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, to release darkness for prisoners,” and in Isaiah 61: 3, continues, “to provide the oil of JOY instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of discouragement.” God can give you the oil of JOY for mourning.  If you need some soothing spiritual balm for your wound and a garment of praise that comes with the oil of JOY, go to Him with Praise and Thanksgiving.

Surrender: He is God, and You are NOT

In praising God, we surrender everything to Him and proclaim that He is God, and we are NOT. He has everything in our lives under control and even when we do not see it, we can trust Him. In the hardships of life, we can praise our God and he will comfort us with deep calming JOY.

Praise and Thanksgiving are Different Forms of Prayer

Thanksgiving offers gratitude for what God has done for you, whereas praise exalts God’s character.   Praise “recognizes most immediately that God is God.” Prayers of praise are entirely disinterested in self  and  laud  him. They give  him glory for his own sake, “quite beyond what he has done, but simply because HE IS” (CCC #2639).   Prayers of thanksgiving express our gratefulness to God and are to be offered in all circumstances. For example, 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 tells us: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (NRSV). The Psalms tell us how to praise God, and we can praise God with the Psalms. You could start with Psalms 150, 145, 105, 100,  or 95.   Also, try praising God’s attributes and  using the Titles of Jesus.

You can download Bookmarks with Praises from Podcast #5 at my website: WRAPYourselfinJOY.com.  They will help you add praise to your prayer life.

 Check out more podcasts here!

Find the WRAP Yourself in JOY book by clicking here.

JOY Series #4 – WRAP-ing JOY

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

WRAP-ing JOY

Today we are WRAP-ing JOY. How would you like to feel wrapped in JOY? Have you ever wanted to hear God speak to YOU? You can! We will discuss the JOY you can experience from a two-way conversation with your Heavenly Father. You will learn the WRAP method for interactive prayer, how to avoid being a talkaholic in prayer, the four-stages for prayer, and the best way to REST in God’s Love and receive His JOY.God Yearns for a Relationship with You.

WRAP NOT RAP

It’s not RAP music – it’s the  W R A P way to JOY. WRAP is an acronym for a way to hear God speak to you – it will help you listen to Him. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2562) defines prayer as: a covenant relationship between God and Man -humans.  Inherent in any relationship is two -way conversation. So God wants a personal relationship with you and that involves two-way communication. There is nothing more joyful than hearing God speak to you in Scripture, but it may mean surrendering your “talkaholism.”

The JOY Benefit of Reading and Praying with Scripture

Happy as used in Psalm 1 does not refer to the short-term happiness found in passing circumstances. The Hebrew word ASRAI used in the original Hebrew language of the Old Testament and translated as “happy” or “blessed” really means—a deep spiritual joy from being with God and the pleasures from that relationship—it’s a deep enrichment and it involves praying with Scripture.

 

Are You Listening?

When you truly listen to God, it is joyful! God is faithful. You can trust Him. He is always patient with you. He invites you to listen and respond. Rev. Mark Thibodeaux in the Armchair Mystic describes four stages of prayer. (See the personal survey for your reflection at my website Wrapyourselfinjoy.com or in my book WRAP Yourself in JOY). The four stages are: 1) Talking at God, 2) Talking to God, 3) Listening to God speak to your heart –through reading & praying Scripture, and 4) Resting in God’s presence, enjoying His company.

 

When You Read the Bible, God Speaks to You

God wants to speak to your needs and even offers you healing for your many issues.  Why not give Him the opportunity?

  • St. Augustine says: “Your prayer is your word addressed to God. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you; when you pray, you speak to God.” (Ennarratio in Ps 85:7: CCL 39, 1177).

 

  • St. Basil the Great says: “The Holy Spirit composed the Scriptures so that in them, as in a pharmacy open to all souls, we might each of us be able to find the medicine suited to our own particular illness…” ( Spidlik, T., & Drake, P. (1993). Drinking from the Hidden Fountain: A Patristic Breviary, Liturgical Press).

 

WRAP Yourself in Scripture

WRAP is an acronym for a method of praying and reflecting on Scripture with journaling, a simplified form of Lectio Divina—”where the Word of God is so read and meditated on that it becomes prayer” (CCC #1177).  It’s from our book WRAP Yourself In Scripture (Karen & Lawrence Dwyer, IPF Publications, 2011, 2018) which explains the WRAP method in detail.  A WRAP prayer ends with resting in God’s Presence & receiving His JOY, His Love, and His Strength.

*You can download a Bookmark of the WRAP method from Podcast #4 at Wrapyourselfinjoy.com.

For more JOY today, please join Podcast #4 – WRAP-ing JOY or more WRAP Yourself in JOY Podcasts by clicking here .

Find the WRAP Yourself in JOY book by clicking here.

JOY Series #3 – Awakening JOY & Telling Yourself the Truth

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Awakening JOY

Did you know God sings over you? Are you awakening to more JOY in your life?

One way it starts is by recognizing that all of creation is joyful. God likes to celebrate more than you ever imagined. He rejoices over creation and He loves to sing over you.

Today, you will see yourself wrapped in God’s loving arms and tell yourself five more truths about JOY. These spiritual truths have the power to change your thoughts and actions. Please join the podcast to awaken more joy in your life and find out what God is singing over YOU.

The Truth about God

The truth is we serve a very JOY-filled God who wants to share His JOY with us.  Have you ever heard of the old or new To TELL the TRUTH game show? Sometimes, we believe lies about God and about heaven and about JOY. One of them is that God is a GRUMP and if we follow him, we are destined for grumpiness too or a life lacking joy and fun. THAT is NOT the truth. So today we look to the Bible to Tell us the TRUTH  about God and JOY.

God’s Takes Pleasure in Creation and Sings Over You

The Scriptures are full of examples about God who rejoices in His creation.

  • In Genesis 1, we read, God paused after each day of creation “And God saw that it was good.” But, after He created humans in his image, He paused and enjoyed the entire creation. He said, “it was VERY GOOD.”
  • In Psalm 147: 10-11, we read: “The LORD takes delight and pleasure in those who fear  (at awe and worship Him,) in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
  • In Zephaniah 3:17, we read.“The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a Mighty Savior– he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing  as on a day of festival. NRSVCE

God is singing over you. Today, you will ask God what He is singing.

God Celebrates

One of the most profound examples of God celebrating His children is in the story of the Prodigal Son told by Jesus in Luke 15:16-25+. Here God tells us that He is a God who likes to celebrate and even runs to meet us with love when we come home to Him. He celebrates our return.

Heaven Rejoices

Not only does God celebrate, but so does all of heaven. When a person turns back to God from a life or time away from His presence, Jesus says in Luke 15: 10, that even the ANGELS are joyful: “10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” WOW! If you have been away from God, you can ask forgiveness for your sins, turn around and come home to God. Heaven rejoices over YOU when you do.

JOY Declarations & Truths

If you have believed lies that God does not love you or want to give you his love and joy—or that God is Old and GRUMPY, then now is the time to change your thinking. The truth is 1) God is with YOU, 2) The Lord God is YOUR Mighty Savior, 3) The Lord offers YOU calm, peace and restoration daily, 4) The Lord renews YOU in His love,  and 5) The Lord sings over YOU with celebrating love every day.

Thank you, Lord, for celebrating each person. You sing over them with love. Please open their ears to hear the song you are singing. Holy Spirit, awaken more JOY in each one today…

You can download a Bookmark of JOY Declaration & Celebration Truths from podcast #3 at wrapyourselfinjoy.com.

Find more shows from Wrap Yourself with Joy by clicking here!
Find the WRAP Yourself in JOY book by clicking here.

JOY Series #2 – Defining JOY & 4 Tips for Increasing JOY

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Defining JOY

Episode #2: Would you like to have a Niagara Falls of JOY in your life?  Have ever wondered if lasting Joy is attainable?  Today we will discuss a definition for true and lasting JOY plus 4 Tips for increasing JOY in your life. You will discover how to launch yourself in prayer with the 5-Minute More Joy Prayer Guide. You can experience more JOY and you will radiate God’s JOY everywhere you go. Please join the podcast today.

A Niagara Falls of Love & JOY

Today we will discover that God has a Niagara Falls of Love & JOY for each of us. Msgr. John Esseff of Scranton, PA often develops this “Niagara Falls of Love” principle while teaching and leading retreats. He says that sometimes we come to our Heavenly Father— a Niagara Falls of Love, and we hold out only a teaspoon to catch it. When in fact, God desires to give us great waterfalls of His Love and JOY. So what does this mean you? We must increase our capacity to receive MORE JOY.

Join me today as we throw away our spoons and instead, stretch our arms to receive more Love and JOY from our generous God.  

Many Ways to Define JOY

There are many ways to define JOY. We started with the following:

  • Pope John Paul II said, “People are made for happiness. Christ has the answer But he asks us to trust him. True joy is a victory- Christ holds the secret of this victory” (World Youth Day, Opening Address, 2002).
  • Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI defined JOY as being aware of God’s presence and friendship every day: “Seek joy in the Lord: for joy is the fruit of faith. It is being aware of his presence and friendship every day: ‘the Lord is near!’ (Phil 4:5). Turn your eyes to him often. He gave his life for you on the cross because HE LOVES YOU” (World Youth Day, 2012).
  • Pope Francis has defined Joy often. He says: “Is it to be happy? No, it’s not the same. To be happy is good. Joy is something more, something which does not depend on external motivations or on passing issues. It’s a gift from the Lord. Joy fills us from within. And this joy is the certainty that Jesus is with us, the Father is with us, and it’s to be searched for and shared continuously… It’s the joy that even in the crosses and the sufferings of this life, when it might be expressed in a different way, it’s having peace and the certainty that Jesus accompanies us. He is with us” (Homily, 2013-5-10, Casa Santa Marta).
  • Billy Graham wrote: “You can receive Christ into your heart, and he can bring joy and a thrill and glory such as you have never known if you give your life to Him” (Breakfast with Billy Graham: 120 Daily Readings, 2003).

After covering other definitions, I offer you what I consider to be a true and lasting definition for joy based on recommendations from these and many others. Most importantly, you will see that true JOY  involves mind, body, soul and spirit AND is Trinitarian.

The More JOY Prayer Guide

Finally, you will learn The More JOY Prayer Guide which includes Four Tips for Increasing JOY.  What if you knew that 5 minutes per day could change your JOY levels? There is help for you and it is called the More JOY Prayer Guide. You can start with just five minutes of personal prayer daily and easily remember the prayer with these four words: 1) ASK, 2) RECEIVE, 3) THANK & 4) SCRIPTURE (WRAP Yourself in JOY, 2022, Dwyer).

You can download the guide as The More JOY Prayer Guide Bookmark from podcast #2 at wrapyourselfinjoy.com.

Find more shows from Wrap Yourself with Joy by clicking here!

Find the WRAP Yourself in JOY book by clicking here.

JOY Series #1 – Searching for JOY

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Do you need more JOY in your life? The advertisers think you do! JOY has become the focus of many ad campaigns -- from vacuum cleaners to automobiles to chewing gum. But there is more to JOY than the fleeting nature of acquiring things with transitory happiness. Join us today as we search for how to be filled with true and lasting JOY every day. #podcast

Searching for JOY

Are you searching for more JOY in your life? The advertisers think you do!  JOY has become the focus of many ad campaigns — from vacuum cleaners to automobiles to chewing gum. But there is more to JOY than the fleeting nature of acquiring things with transitory happiness. Join us today as we search for how to be filled with true and lasting JOY every day.

Let’s begin by asking ourselves what comes to mind when we think of JOY? Why do we need more JOY? The world is searching for JOY. So why are YOU searching for JOY?

We are made to search for JOY.

  • John Paul II said, God made us for JOY.
  • Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, a yearning for JOY lurks within the heart of every man and woman…our hearts seek for a perfect, full, and lasting JOY.
  • Pope Francis even tells us we should seek for JOY. But he warns, not in a selfish way that leaves us old and wrinkled, with faces like pickled peppers, unable to transmit the JOY of a beautiful life. Instead, he said we must seek for JOY because it’s a gift from the Lord, it fills us from within. And this JOY is the certainty that Jesus is with us, the Father is with us, and it’s to be searched for and shared continuously.

What does JOY mean to you?

How would you describe it? If I asked you to list a few words about JOY, would you say giggles, gladness, eating delicious food, watching a basketball game or a volleyball game, especially where your team is winning, hugging babies, eating wonderful food or having coffee with a friend? How you experience JOY is unique to your life, because JOY can be experienced in many ways. Your JOYs are perfect for you. When it comes to JOY, all of us have one thing in common we want and need more JOY in our lives. So let’s start with the Bible and see what the Bible says about JOY.

  • In John 15: 9-11, Jesus says he wants to share his JOY with YOU, As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love. Just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be complete. (NRSVCE ).
  • In Psalm 16: 11, God the Father wants to give YOU His Joy too:  You (Lord God) show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of JOY; in your right hand (at his strength and power) are pleasures forevermore. (NRSVCE )
  • In Galatians 5: 22-25, the third member of the Trinity–The Holy Spirit wants more joy for YOU:   The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 

Prayer Declarations

The prayer declarations with these verses that I shared in this podcast are available as free bookmarks on my website: Wrapyourselfinjoy.com.  Why not download a bookmark with the scriptures and take it with you everywhere you go? You can speak these words aloud and thank God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) with each one. On my website, you can also learn more about my books and connect with me.

Final Prayer

God, our Father, we love you. Thank you for bestowing such great love on each of us and giving us joy in your presence. I pray they receive more of the fullness your joy today….

Come back next week as we journey to find joy in life. It’s more than simply finding happiness.

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