6 Principles to Reclaim Joy

Jul 2, 2019 | Coaching, Life

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.


A new tool I’ve been using is a 5 Minute Way to Start Your Day notepad by Melissa Fagan, one of the moms in the Fledge Parent Forum, that focuses on praise. I’d love to give you a copy! Comment below on why praise is important in shifting your joy and your name will be entered!

Hey, did you know?

Also, are you a listener of the Life Beyond the Picket Fence podcast? Post a review on iTunes or Stitcher for us, please!

If you’re interested in working with me one on one with life changing principles like this in a coaching relationship, contact me at brenda@brendayoder.com.


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  1. Allison Brady

    Rejoicing turns my focus from me to God. There is such a difference between happy and the joy God gives. When starting prayers with rejoicing it helps to remember He is ABLE, He cares and He knows.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      You’re so right Allison! Rejoicing changes our mind and heart! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Linda Miller

    When I visit people in the hospital, I tell them that there are no passages in the Bible for when people are in the hospital. The most important thing to do in situations like this is to remind ourselves of who God is. I often share verses from Ps. 89 that talk about God’s faithfulness and His great love for us.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      I love this Linda, such truth!

      • Amy

        Personally, I find it so easy to get stuck lingering in the hardships of the day. Whether it be about my three teenage boys, my health, my current living situation or just needing to go grocery shopping these feelings are always inside, occasionally sharing with others.
        This is not normally how I think of myself. I’m used to having people comment on how happy and friendly I am.
        Then, one day my sister, Melissa Fagan, gave me a 5 minute a Day sheet. I had tried gratitude journals before but found it hard to find enough to write about. When I started the 5 minute sheet I literally felt a weight lifted and a new connection to God. To write 3 things I was grateful for brought a smile to my face, an instant reminder we all have blessings in life every single day. To state 3 intentions to accomplish allowed me to focus on what was most important to get done. It changed my feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious to confidence. When depression takes over, I may just want to accomplish taking a shower or to go outside. Writing It as an intention can be that little push we all need at times.
        The final 3 being who we are praying for. At first, I told my sister I couldn’t always think of 3 different people to pray for each day. Her advice was to not only think of people who were sick or hurting but those celebrating a birthday or something positive. Lifting others up in prayer to God- In JOY -was a gift to me.
        Not long ago, I started going to a chronic pain group every week with people truly suffering in many ways beyond their physical pain. One day we were asked to share anything we do to step away from our pain or even find things to be grateful for. Some meditated, exercised and some prayed, most did nothing. I shared ‘5 minutes a Day’ and the happiness and joy I’ve found in doing it, especially my sister and I sharing it with each other. I gave everyone a sheet and was excited to hear our instructor now uses it in all her groups.
        That brought me JOY!

        • Brenda L. Yoder

          That is exactly what I am hoping to share with others, even counseling clients, through this tool. It is practical and transforming!

  3. Melissa Fagan

    Love these reminders. The daily practice has truly helped me to rejoice each morning. I have had some seasons where I felt my joy was stollen and I placed items with the word joy in them throughout my house. But they were only reminders of the word. Gratitude helps me to claim it as more than a word.
    In fact, I think I am going to change up my notepad practice and have the first gratitude spot be for an attribute of God. My friend Tait Buck does that above the gratitude list.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      I love that idea Melissa! I can’t wait to share your 5 Minutes to Start the Day!

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