How To Keep Your Heart Full of Joy

Psalm 34:1, NLT

“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.”

When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you do? Do you look for God’s goodness? Do you set the tone for success, favor and blessing? We’re in the second month of the new year. Last year may have had some hardships and difficulties, but it’s time to set the tone for a new season. The scripture tells us that the darker it gets in the world, the brighter it’s going to be for God’s people. Things may be bad all around you. People may be negative, complaining and discouraged, but don’t let that spirit rub off on you. The worse it gets, the brighter you’re going to shine. Be determined to set the tone for the new year by praising God and speaking words of faith over your future!

Psalm 92:15-16 The Passion Translation

"I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will find and feel my presence even in your time of pressure and trouble. I will be your glorious Hero and give you a feast! You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you. For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!”

Greg had prayed for God's blessings and favor when he got out of college, and God had certainly answered. Greg had been given a beautiful family, and his career had taken off dramatically. He rose from entry level to executive in the short space of seven years, and people in the industry began calling him flattering things like "wunderkind" and "prodigy." He had proven himself capable beyond his peers and wise beyond his years.

So Greg began to lead seminars and write books about the keys to his success. His already-generous income more than doubled from his international speaking fees. He became widely recognized as a "how to" expert, a motivator, and a life coach. A few best-sellers later, his family was able to buy several homes in several countries. He was credited with more talent and skill and ingenuity than anyone around. Yes, he was truly a self-made man.

But self-made men eventually suffer the consequences of poor construction, and a series of misfortunes left Greg virtually bankrupt. His books ended up in bargain bins, his seminars were suddenly "cliché," and his family hardly knew the man who had always been too busy to spend time with them. And Greg found himself exactly where he began when he was fresh out of college: on his knees asking for Gods blessings and favor.

It's a common dynamic, isn't it? We ask God for help, and he gives it. The Holy Spirit fills us with himself, and then we take credit for his gifts. Once we experience success, whether in the big-ticket items like career and family or the smaller victories of life, we develop a sense of independence. We start patting ourselves on the back for being so competent or wise or well-positioned. And then when our mini-kingdom crumbles, we fall on our knees again and ask God for help. Continue reading A Season of Need: Maintaining a Heart that God Blesses.

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