Last week a friend and I got together and I had worship music playing in the background. She was talking and sharing with me all that God had been doing in her life recently. She was in such awe of God and how he had been providing for her and showing up in unexpected ways.
As she was sharing with me I felt God say, “Praise me. Thank me. Worship me.” I stopped her and said, “God wants us to praise him and thank him for his goodness.” I turned the worship music up and little did I know what would happen next.
We were sitting on my couch worshipping God and I felt so at peace. I prayed aloud praising and thanking God for all he has done for us and she did as well. After praying I got hit with laughter. I began laughing uncontrollably. I was laughing so hard I was crying. Shortly after I began laughing, my friend sitting next to me began laughing as well, so hard she was crying. Every time I would touch her, I laughed even harder. The Holy Spirit was in the room and present in both of us!
As I was sitting and laughing God was telling me things. He told me
“I have big plans for both of you.
“Keep your focus on me and I will show you where to go next.
“I know the desires of your heart.
It was beautiful! Although I was laughing I felt such peace and comfort.
Last night this same friend and I were talking and she was sharing with me that she has been experiencing so much joy and she doesn’t want it to ever leave her.
I asked her this question, “What are you doing now that is causing you to experience that joy?”
She answered with, “I am praising God no matter what and thanking him and keeping my focus on him.”
I responded, “Well, joy is a choice, and when you feel like you have to choose joy more than ever at a certain point, do the things you are doing now. Praise God, thank God, and keep your focus on him.”
I say this to you as well. Joy is a choice. You must choose joy every day. No one can do that for you. It is your responsibility. If you are struggling with choosing joy, praise God in the midst of the storm, worship him, put on worship music and sit in his presence. Allow the Holy Spirit to touch you. It’s not scary, it’s comforting, and renewing!
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10