As we look around and contemplate all the things that we have encountered last year, it is easy to feel like we have been robbed and duped. To say that it has been a challenging year is an understatement. As the year of Covid-19 already passed,  many of us are thinking, what will life be like next year? What situation will arise? How can I be joyful when I feel as though I am drowning?


Our struggles may feel all-consuming and overwhelming. They drag us down into a melancholic slumber that becomes difficult to come out of. Although we are entitled to process our emotions, we cannot allow ourselves to remain in such a state for an extended period. We must strengthen and encourage ourselves.


Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


We are often told to focus on God and follow his lead, especially when we cannot see where life is taking us. But the truth is that it is difficult to pray and be a witness to zero changes. It is a challenge to continue and read the word of God, and yet all we feel is a loss of hope and faith. You are not alone. We have all been there where nothing helps, and nothing soothes the pain you feel, but you must be strong and have courage.


How can you have courage? What does courage look like? It means that daily when you wake up, you must choose to feed your mind with optimism through self-talk, podcasts, sermons, prayer, or anything that you can get your hands to uplift you. You must make an effort to cultivate mental toughness by feeding your mind thoughts and ideas that will encourage your will to move forward.


Think about the possibilities that the future holds. As you look into the horizon of your future, know that challenging stages and seasons are temporary. There are victories ahead, and there is so much life in front of you. So how can you regain joy amid turmoil? Learn the art of focus. Channel all your focus on the fact that God has plans for your life—He is not done with you yet. God is still writing your story, and it isn’t over till He says it’s over.


Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


Have the courage to push through the feelings of hopelessness and know that there is another brighter tomorrow awaiting you. God is faithful, no matter what life’s forecast may appear. Your season of turmoil has an expiration date, but you must wait it out and strengthen your ability to push through the unpleasant moments to get to the good ones.


Regain your ability to experience joy by taking control of your thoughts and focus them on Jesus Christ. Think about the wondrous paths that God has paved for you to walk that you have not yet journeyed. Why? Because with God, the possibilities are endless, and they all lead you to favorable outcomes. Develop confidence in Christ and learn to lean on his promises for your life, even if you cannot see them manifested.  Right now, shift your focus, and you'll tap into gratitude and joy.


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