I’m writing this post to get my week started off on the right foot. I want to have a week of joy and not anxiety. I want this for you too! Keep these verses and the promises in mind as you go about your day, and I’ll bet that you will see improvements in your mind, body and spirit.
Proverbs 17:22 ESV
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
This verse is such a good word picture. Joy is like a good medicine. Don’t you feel better when you are doing something that gives you joy or when you are around someone who brings you joy? I feel joy when I get to spend time with my horses. I feel joy when I am helping my students master a piece of music or putting together a video for a science project. I feel joy when I have a great conversation with my husband.
I will take joy any day of the week over a crushed spirit. Who wouldn’t? I need to be mindful of how I speak and interact with people. It can be very easy to crush someone’s spirit by speaking harsh words or having a critical spirit. “But a crushed spirit dries up the bones” just about sums it up. I know how I feel when someone speaks harshly to me or is so critical, it zaps all of my energy.
Psalm 94:19| NIV
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
I love this verse, but I believe the only way we can feel comforted is if we give our stress and anxiety over to God to handle.
28 “Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest. 29 Accept my teaching. Learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will be able to get some rest. 30 Yes, the teaching that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (ERV)
Verse 28 sums up how we feel when we are stressed. Our energy is taken and we feel weighed down. And sometimes we feel that we are forced to carry the burden. But look at the instruction and the promise that comes in these verses.
- Come to me = I will give you rest.
- Accept my teaching. Learn from me. = And you will be able to get some rest.
- Give me your heavy burdens and I will give you a light load.
Stressing over a situation doesn’t do you or me any good. It doesn’t accomplish anything. Ask yourself about the last time you spent worrying over a problem, what was accomplished? The only thing I can think of is we end up spending time thinking about things that “could happen” or “might happen”. And when it is all over, those things we thought about didn’t happen.
2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
This is a great verse to end on for today. Giving to others because we want to not because we think we have to is a wonderful thing. Not only will the recipient feel good, but we will feel good. I like that this verse also singles our giving out. It says, “each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give”. There could be ten of us who have all heard about someone in need. We all decide to give. Because we are individuals we will all contribute to the cause but in a different way. Usually the giving comes from our own talents and gifts. Each gift will be unique, but, giving because we want to and not because we feel an obligation is where we are united.
I hope these verses bring you joy as you meditate on them. Think about them when you start feeling your stress level start to rise. When that happens speak these words of truth,
- “I am feeling anxious, but I’m giving it to you, Lord.”
- “I am claiming Psalms 94:19, When stress is great within me, your comfort brings me joy.”
- “I’m feeling weighed down right now, but I’m giving it to you, Lord.”
- “I am choosing joy instead of anxiety.”
- “I am choosing joy as my medicine, today.”
- “I will learn from you, Lord, for you are my teacher.”