The Key to Experiencing Increased Joy

Gold Brush Stroke

It’s sad how when something is “bad,” it’s bad enough, but when something is “good,” it’s never good enough. Why can’t we accept the gifts as the sweet blessings they are? 

Negative Mindset

“Enjoy the beautiful sunshine,”the clerk encouraged.

“I will,” I responded, then quickly added, “now if the temperature would only follow suit.”

And then I kicked myself for my impulsive answer! Without even thinking I had negated the gift of the beautiful sunshine.

It’s sad how often I do that. 

Complimented about my clothes, I comment about how I’d like to be in a bit better shape.

Affirmed in my work, I turn to a peer and whine about the workload.

I receive a visit from a friend and spend the time apologizing about the messiness of my house and that I have nothing to serve them.

I’m blessed by a sunny day and complain that it is too cold, too hot or too windy.

A focus on the negative is not only my problem; it’s epidemic in our culture. 

God's goodness is good enough: reason for joy.

Reframe the Negative in Light of God’s Promises

I wonder what might happen if we begin to qualify the negative rather than the positive. To be quick to give thanks for the good and to look at the apparent bad in light of God’s promises.

How might that improve our demeanor? 

In my younger years, few things would get me down. I’d reframe seemingly negative situations into positive. 

In my childlike innocence, I was grateful for the good and believed the bad would get better. I had abundant joy. 

But as a more “mature” individual, I let unfulfilled expectations and unwanted circumstances color my attitude. 

Maybe that’s why God says we must receive the benefits of His kingdom, His gifts, like a little child.

“Like a little child” means with humility and gratitude. Not with demands that sunny must be warm too. Not with expectations that everything go exactly as we think they should.

But with trust and faith and simple acceptance and thanksgiving. 

I’m not suggesting unrealistic platitudes. But we can realize increased joy when we develop a from-the-heart desire to be grateful. A deep soul-desire to believe that God is good and has good for us.

A worshipful attitude of gratitude in all circumstances. 

Experience increased joy: Receive God's gifts with a worshipful attitude of gratitude. Share on X

Experience Increased Joy

The Apostle Paul knew the importance to our faith of the correct mindset. That’s why he so strongly encouraged us to focus on “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” (Philippians 4:8).  

He didn’t say temper the good with what we believe would be even better.  

Increased joy is found in focusing on the blessings we receive. It is found in dwelling on the salvation we have in Christ. It is found in being reminded of God’s promises and that we are well kept. 

The joy of our salvation is found in remembering that God’s will is always for our good (Psalm 51:12)! 

Habit of Gratitude

By developing a habit of gratitude, we not only bless ourselves but all who we come in contact with.

The hardships of this world often take center stage. They get the press. They get noticed.

It’s time we reverse this trend and train ourselves to express gratitude in all things: the good that often go unnoticed and God’s promises we have in the bad. 

It’s time to start noticing the beauty in the middle of the storm. To start anticipating the sweetness that results from the bitter and sour. 

In Christ we are a new person with a renewed mind. We have put on our “new self,  the one created according to God’s likeness” (Ephesians 4:24).

We can have the peace and joy that comes from that renewed mind. It’s a simple, yet often difficult, task of receiving His goodness found in and through all circumstances. 

So today, join me in seeking the joy of the Lord:

  • Begin celebrating the good for the gift it is, no qualifications allowed.
  • Then go a step further and reframe the negative in light of the good and perfect will God has for you. 

Seek the joy of the Lord: celebrate the good and reframe the bad in light of God's perfect and good will for you. Share on X

Let’s be witnesses to the world that God’s good is always good enough.

Be a witness to the world that God's good is always good enough. Share on X

Intentionally seeking a mindset of gratitude has been life-changing for me. I can’t wait to hear your praise reports as you begin your own adventure toward wholehearted thanksgiving.

Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for [us] in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 Reflections: What good do you notice today (no qualifications as to degree or possibilities)? How can you reframe the bad in your day to reflect God’s good and perfect will for your life? 

(And as is only fitting for a post like this one, I’ll end with last week’s list of gifts.) 

Going on 5 years of counting and I’m nearing 5,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,894–4,914. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • First of my garden planted: 4 rows of potatoes; Hubby’s gardening help; Hearing Rachel yelling “hi, Mom!” in the background of phone conversation with Joey
  • Being able to visit a member of our church who can no longer get to services and fellowship; Wonderful ladies I get to work with at church; High School speech awards
  • Shopping with Mom; Lunch with Mom, my sister and her hubby; Evening home with Rachel
  • Morning routines; Watching Joey get an unexpected opportunity to play varsity in soccer and do quite well; A warm car after hours in cold wind
  • The exercise laundry affords me as I run up and down the steps doing the many loads; Talking to Danny and Zach; Coloring with Miss Rach
  • Beautiful sunshine; Watching West Delaware Hawks in a soccer tournament, and Joey starting at Goalie; A mama who will help out with Rach
  • Worshipping with a young man I’ve been missing for a while; Watching my niece in her middle school production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”; Dairy Queen stop after the musical


By His Grace,



  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on April 15, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    I sometimes have to tell Bod I am sorry for taking away from the blessing by adding a negative statement to a positive blessing. People don’t realize how much we can get pulled down by saying “Yes,,,but.”

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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