As a Christian life coach and counselor, I see truth from God’s word, the Bible, throughout secular strategies for mental and emotional health. I’ve studied the Bible for over 35 years and have found it’s truth to be life-giving, life changing, practical, and a reflection of the character of God.
Coaching strategies for healthy living are embedded throughout the Scriptures. One example is the tucked away in the last chapter of 1 Thessalonians. Paul leaves ten admonishments with the reader that are applicable today for everyone longing for a healthy, abundant life as a Christ follower and human.
The first principle is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16, “Rejoice always.”
That’s it. Rejoice. Always. Here are 6 ways this simple principle will help you reclaim your joy.
- Rejoice. Rejoice is to feel or show great delight or joy. Delight is to please greatly or to please someone greatly. The object of pleasing is Christ for the Christian. Psalm 37:4-5 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Rejoicing means you please God with your heart, mind, and attitude, even when you don’t feel like, rather than falsely rejoicing in the situation. The following principles will explain how to do this.
- Praise God for who He is. Praise God through journaling, prayer, or making statements out loud about God’s attributes or who he is to you. You may not be able to rejoice about the situation, but putting your focus on God, who He is, and His unchanging nature takes your focus off yourself and your situation and puts your mind and energy on His unfailing character.
- Praise God for what He has done in your life. You may not see God’s hand in your current situation, but you can praise Him by acknowledging what He’s done in your past. This is the pattern of David’s psalms. Even while in despair, David wrote about what God did in the past. When we acknowledge positive truths of the past, we are more able to have hope in the present and future.
- Praise God for what He is doing in your life you can’t see. This is faith in action. Hebrews 11:1 says faith is being certain of what we hope for and sure of what we cannot see. Hebrews 11:6 also says without faith, we cannot please God. Faith means we put our trust and confidence in what God is doing in the heavenly realms, what He is doing in other people’s lives and hearts we are unable to see, and that He has a future and hope that we cannot see with our own eyes.
- Praise God for outcomes you don’t yet know by stating His promises. The Psalm mentioned above is a practical example. Say, “God, thank you that as I delight myself in you, you will give me the desires of my heart. Thank you that as I commit my ways to you and trust in you, you will bring these things to pass.” When fear, discouragement and anxiety creep in, focus on these truths and principles rather than the circumstances.
- Make this a pattern for a lifetime….always. Rejoice always. Take delight in the Lord and who He is always. As you do, your attitude and outlook will change, and you will change. You may not be able to control the situation in front of you, but you do control your mind, body, emotions, and behavior.
Guided imagery, mindfulness, envisioning your future, and other approaches use similar principles but lack the life changing truths of who Christ is in your life and how He carries out these promises for those who have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ is the life giver and source of peace and joy. We gain more peace and joy as we grow our relationship with Christ, allowing His Holy Spirit to transform every aspect of our mind, body, and spirit. We become more like Him in the process.
Circumstantial, materialistic, and wordly joy is fleeting. Christ himself is the source of true joy. As you delight in Him, you will change and become more like Him.
If you’re interested in working with me one on one with life changing principles like this in a coaching relationship, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.