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The other day I woke up thinking, I’m going to focus more on being joyful and positive; on leaning into Jesus and finding my peace and rest in Him more. The thing about joy and peace is that in its truest sense they aren’t dependent on our circumstances. Otherwise how could Jesus be described as, “for the joy set before him he endured the cross”. Or Paul and Silas after been thrown into the depths of a dungeon were to be found singing at the top of their lungs in praise to God? ( Heb 12:2; Acts 16:16-40)

No, true joy and peace are not based on our circumstances being without hardship, disappointment or heartache. It’s coming from something, and from my experience someone deeper. That deeper one is Jesus, and it’s often in the battle when things have looked most awful that I’ve found him there sustaining and giving me hope. And it’s that hope which then leads to joy.

And without that hope and joy I really wouldn’t be still standing. I wouldn’t still be excited and sharing about God’s goodness and continuing to trust Him… and I definitely wouldn’t be still dreaming and smiling. But I am, because regardless of the hurts, abuse, disappointments, struggles, sickness, loss and pain, I’ve got this buzzing, bubbling, ridiculous joy happening on the inside of me, and if I focus in on that joy and its source it gets bigger and tends to overflow. It overflows in creativity, in moving forward, in faith, in positive words, in believing, in love, in laughter and in dreaming.

However if I take my focus and my heart and mind off Jesus and choose to look only at the brokeness, lack, struggles and general stuff of the world, I can feel the joy getting stifled and the stress and toil of life begins to crowd in.

So it’s simple – to keep my joy, I keep my focus and choose not to be moved by whether my circumstances at present are looking great or not so great. They are all momentary things, yet God is eternal. He promises He will perfect everything that concerns us, has a plan and purpose which far exceeds our wildest dreams and knows and watches over every step of our lives. Plus nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from His love. (2 Cor 417; Psalm 138:8; Eph 3:20; Psalm 1:6)

Today whatever day or week you’re having I encourage you to focus and lean into Jesus. Let go of your troubles and give them to him to carry, and receive instead the strength, encouragement, hope and joy you need and desire. His Joy will be your strength and in Him you win and overcome. (Nehemiah 8:10)

Yet even in the midst of all these things, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors, and his demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything! So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! (Romans 8:37-39 TPT)

He who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32)

Prayer: Lord I receive your hope and joy today. Thank you that nothing I face or have faced can separate me from your love or the plans you have for my life. I’m leaning in on you today Jesus and know you have everything in your capable hands. In Jesus name Amen