Have you ever wondered why gratitude comes before joy? Everything changes when your heart is filled with thanksgiving and gratefulness. Then joy comes!
It reminds me of an unbecoming caterpillar which compared to a butterfly isn’t beautiful at all! After it weaves itself into a cocoon, in time it breaks out into a gorgeous butterfly.
Are you the kind of woman that is constantly complaining about this and that? I’ve been there!
When you take the initiative to start keeping a gratitude list, you will be like the caterpillar that goes into a cocoon and comes out as a beautifully created creature. This demonstrates how simple actions like being thankful for all the little and big things in your life can turn your heart into one of gratitude.
When I pulled one of my 12 Scripture Memory Cards out of the ‘Gratitude Pocket’ in my Bible this morning . . . I was choosing gratitude!!
Focusing on verses that cultivate gratitude is the best way of turning into a woman of joy. It is hard to keep gratitude to yourself!!
This is a pocket I made on the last page of Hebrews under the last verse. I made it using an old page from a 365 Happy Planner, Washi-Tape, and a cut-out from my planner with double-stick Scotch Tape. Then I slipped my Scripture Memory Cards inside the pocket.
Gratitude Comes Before Joy
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Gratitude is what causes you to praise and sing to God because He has blessed you with abundance and joy in your heart and life. (Isaiah 35:10) That is why gratitude comes before joy!
From my experience, you cannot ‘work up’ true joy because it is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) that comes out of your relationship with the Lord.
But this verse isn’t just talking about joy that you might have when you have a newborn baby, or just bought a new home that God miraculously provided. Those situations can definitely produce joy and happiness . . .
But . . . isn’t it harder to have joy when we are facing trials and troubles common in this life?
And not only that, but we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3
God helps us to rejoice or have joy in our sufferings.
Suffering produces perseverance. In other words, suffering produces godly character in us.
God helps us to persevere under trial!
To STAND the test!
AND . . . you will receive the crown of life (James 1:12) that God has promised to those who love Him.
God desires more than anything that we magnify Him when things are going great and when things are NOT so great.
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:20
So, COUNT your blessings. Write them down on a gratitude list in your planner or a scratch piece of paper and watch your heart start to burst with JOY no matter what the circumstances!!
How have you seen gratitude turn to joy? Has it changed everything even though the situation is the same?