Thursday, October 5, 2017

Day 5 - Intentional Thoughts

         **(This is part of a 31 day series on finding Joy in the Journey. If you want to read more related posts click here. )** 

I found this description of the Wizard of Oz from a newspaper. Talk about looking for the negative! I would describe the movie as  “A journey through a magical land over the rainbow brings adventure and life lessons to a group of friends.”

Those who experience more joy don’t necessarily have better circumstances. They just have a better mindset. Joyful people look for the good, even in difficult situations.

We have all seen or heard about people in third world countries who don’t have much in material possessions, yet are always smiling and full of the joy of the Lord. Then there are millionaires and celebrities who have everything money can buy and are miserable.

It is definitely not wealth and possessions that bring more joy.

Having Joy in our journey requires being intentional – intentional with our thoughts.

For as he thinks within himself, so he is. Proverbs 23:7

Our thoughts bubble up and out of us, revealing what we are thinking. If we have negative angry thoughts, we will have negative angry actions. Have you ever seen an angry driver? Just by how fast, aggressive and angry they drive, you can tell what type of person they are – angry. They don’t have joy.

Joy starts from within. Our thoughts are what determine our level of joy. The Bible has a prescription for aligning our thoughts to focus on the positive. It is found in Philippians 4:8 :

Finally, brothers and sisters,
Whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things.

We need to intentionally fill our mind with things that are positive and will add more joy to our life. The opposite is also true.  When negative thoughts threaten to steal our joy, we need to take those negative thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and not dwell on them.

Life is full of mountains and valleys. But every valley is not completely miserable. There are almost always some good things happening at the same time. Maybe we are in a valley with our health. It seems the older we get the more health issues can keep us down. But that doesn’t mean our whole life is miserable. We can have serious health issues, but at the same time, have good friends who are there for us. We could have a good job and the ability to pay all our bills. Our marriage and family life can be something that brings us joy in the midst of our struggling health.

On every mountaintop things are not 100% perfect. We may have a great marriage, but one our kids could be a prodigal. Our health may be great, but our finances may be hurting. There will always be something to complain about and something to give thanks for in every situation. The amount of joy you have depends on what you choose to do more of.

The point is we can choose joy no matter what our circumstances. We can choose to look for the good. Tommy Newberry in his book, The 4:8 Principle says:

“When you focus on the good, you not only notice more good
but you actually create more good.”

For more joy today:
Count your blessings, no matter what your situation.
Take negative thoughts captive and refuse to dwell on them
Make a commitment to praise instead of complain.



  1. I love this, Robin. What a good reminder to look for the good. Phil 4:8 is such a good passage to dwell on. Thanks for sharing. Blessings to you!