Like I said in my series about anxiety, this devotional came to me at an appropriate time. Now, people who know me would say that I am joyful most of the time. However, I still had my moments where I would get angry and would let depression rule my day. Right before I ended this past semester of college, I had just experienced joy, and I was learning how to be joyful on a consistent basis. My friend’s mom came up to me and said, “I think you would really like this devotional.” Here was a way for me to learn how to sustain my joy!
Based on the book The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry, this devotional emphasizes the importance of controlling our emotions. Newberry discusses that emotions do not just happen; they are caused by situations and thought pattern, and they ultimately affect our actions. Each day, Newberry uses ideas from Philippians 4:8 to help his readers change their thought patterns.
The reading for each day is not so short that you are bored, but not so long that you are wondering when it will end. At the end of each day, Newberry also includes a challenge to help the lesson stick. He will ask the reader to write a positive statement down or ways that the reader can improve his or her thought patterns. Some of the activities are a bit redundant, but the repetition of the activities allows for positive habits to form.
Overall, Newberry’s message is that it takes energy and effort to remain joyful in this negative world. This quotation truly sums up the message of the devotional: “The word emotion is 86% motion.” In order to be joyful, it takes action, practice, and accountability. Newberry uses the techniques that he practices on his clients in order to promote credibility in his devotional.
Just like joy, what you put into this devotional is what you will get out of it. There may be times where you don’t feel like doing the activities at the end, but just fighting through and dedicating fifteen minutes of your day to the activity will help you to feel more joyful on a daily basis.