Laughter. Joy. Contentment. Faith. Hope. Love. Strength in the storm. Perseverance in prayer. Perspective in battle. These belong to every single Christ follower. So why don’t we lay hold of them?

The enemy of our soul is a joy-stealer and we let him win far too often.

Recently on Middays I spoke with the amazing Ben Courson about his book, Optimisfits: Igniting a Fierce Rebellion against Hopelessness.

I couldn’t keep up with him, he had so many wonderful things to say! Emails and texts flooded in because listeners so connected with his insight and his exuberant joy.

Here are a few lines that I remember:

How you perceive God is how you receive from God.

In other words, if you perceive God as an angry, impatient deity, you’ll cower in fear instead of living with expectant joy. But if you perceive God as the loving, powerful, mighty Father He is, you’ll trust Him with every detail of your life.

Any thought in my mind that doesn’t inspire hope is not from God.

Think about this one for a moment. How many thoughts do we entertain that involve God’s disappointment, disapproval and plain frustration with us? That doesn’t mean He’s good with everything we do. He’s not. Sin is still destructive and He’s still against it. But He’s for you. And if you’re walking intimately with Him and trusting Him wholeheartedly, you can know that He’ll lead you in the way you should go. You don’t have to constantly self-edit nor do you have to remind Him to care about you. Any thought that does not inspire divine hope is not from God.

If you’re not working hard, it’s because you don’t believe in the power of your dreams. It’s the vision that keeps you going strong.

How long has it been since you’ve refreshed your perspective on your God-given dreams? What are you working towards? Today might be a good day to ask God to give you a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh passion to go after it.

In the face of everything that mighty try to bring us down, we can be optimists. Not people who approach life with an empty, plastic smile, but how make a choice to be happy in the face of life’s pain.

This is only possible when we cultivate a living-breathing relationship with the God who loves us. Then, we can trust Him in the storm, knowing that everything serves a purpose in our lives because God is ultimately in control.

Here are a few more quotable quotes from my guest today. I pray they inspire you!

We can turn situations that are painful into pain-FUEL, driving us onward to our destiny. We don’t react to hardship, we respond to hardship. We are possessed with a kind of cheerful stoicism, with a strength that moves heaven and earth.

The only way to do battle with a debilitating pessimism is to embrace a fanatical optimism. When you can be absurdly optimistic in the face of all the things that seem to be arrayed against you, you take away all their power to control your emotions, your decisions, and your sense of happiness.

God has a special place in His heart for those who feel broken, whom life has dealt a bad hand, or who are struggling just to keep their head above water. He cares about the hurting heart.

God wants to heal your broken heart. And at the same time He wants to use your brokenness to heal others.

Every sentence in the show was packed with wisdom and encouragement. We talked about the beautiful power of our brains to heal when we enter into a perspective of gratitude and joy.

You can’t listen to today’s show without smiling, laughing, and feeling challenged to reframe your perspective.

I pray this show encourages you like it encouraged me.

Live JOYfully!