Finding Joy in the Story You’re Living

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Four months ago, we were all writing the plots of our lives, oblivious to what lay just around the corner. Then–out of nowhere–the world was hit with a major pandemic that caused our plots to twist–and, in some cases, twist drastically. Now we find ourselves in totally unexpected situations, trying to make sense of it all and–even more challenging–trying to write new plots for our lives.

But maybe that’s where we’ve been missing it. In trying to write our own life plots in the first place. For you see, God has a plot for each of our lives, and His plot is usually quite different from ours. The big question is, “Am I willing to let God write the story of my life, or will I insist on writing it myself?”

If you’re like me, you may have resisted God’s plot–or story–for your life. In my case, I didn’t even know God had a plot for my life. So, at the age of fifteen, I started writing my own plot. I planned every point along the way, exactly as I wanted it to happen.

But midway through my writing of my plot, God intervened. Basically, He told me I was writing the wrong story. It wasn’t His story. He had a different story He wanted to write for my life. Would I let Him do so?

I would have been a fool to refuse.

What about you? Are you refusing to allow God to write the story of your life? If so, consider these advantages of allowing God to plot your life:

  1. God always has your best interests at heart. So the story He has planned for your life is the best story possible for your life–the story that will serve to make you the most like Jesus. 
  2. God created you. Therefore, He knows in what “genre” to write the story of your life. He knows whether or not you will become more like Jesus through humor or sorrow–or a combination of both. He knows whether or not you need a slow-paced story, with lots of calm moments to sort things out, or a fast-paced one that forces you to confront things you don’t want to confront.
  3. God loves you.  Ultimately, this is God’s reason for wanting to write your story. He knows that if you go it alone, you’ll botch up your story. He wants to make sure you don’t mess it up. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Lord in my 50 years of walking with Him, it’s that the story He writes for our lives is always better than the story we try to write ourselves.

Are you willing to let God write the story of your life? In order to do so, you may have to let go of the story you thought your life would be and learn to find joy in the story you’re living. 

Why not do that now? Give Jesus your pen and then stand back as the Master Storyteller writes the magnificent story He has already plotted for your life. I guarantee it will be a bestseller!

If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ, the Master Storyteller, I urge you to do so now. Please pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I’ve been trying to write the story of my own life, but I’ve failed miserably. Forgive me! You are the only one who can write my life story. And it’s the best story for me. So I hand over my pen to You, and I give You free reign to write the story of my life. In Your Name, I receive You as my Savior and Lord. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. This book was written for such a time as this, in which we are facing very serious issues of racism and hatred in our society. To discover the only real answer to racism, get your copy of IN BLACK AND WHITE now at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.  If you are reading this blog post, you can also purchase IN BLACK AND WHITE at the link below or on my website at maryanndiorio.com. Just click the bookstore tab at the top of the page.

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You will also find additional resources on living the abundant life in Jesus Christ on my website at maryanndiorio.com.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I encourage you to share them with others. I also invite you to subscribe to my blog at maryanndiorio.com. Also, you may consider becoming a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. It is now reaching numerous countries throughout the world with the message of the Gospel. I could not do this without you.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

To subscribe to “Winning with the Word”, click here.

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Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__7 Signs That the Tribulation Is at Hand

__The Dangers of Generation Separation

__Are You Thinking Straight?

__How to Deal with the “New Normal”

__What to Do When Your Child Goes Astray

___Are You a Perfectionist?

__Is the World Coming to an End?

__The Coming Global Cataclysm

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“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

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Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Happiness and Joy: Are They Identical?

 

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Happiness is not the same as joy.

Young African American woman thankful, horizontal

Fotolia File: #55371512 | Author: Burlingham


Happiness depends on circumstances. Joy is above circumstances.

Happiness is like a roller-coaster going up and down, even by the moment.  Joy is like a deep well that never runs dry.

Happiness is external. Joy is internal.

Happiness comes from what happens to me. Joy comes from Yeshua the Messiah Who lives in me. 

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

         ` ~ Habakkuk 3:17-18

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If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com or via one of her social media venues below:

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How to Discover Your Unique, God-Given Dream in Life

Answer Two Simple Questions


“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines

the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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God created you with a built-in dream.  Your dream is your purpose.  It’s up to you to discover what your dream is.

 

What's Your Dream Concept

Fotolia: File: #78631377 | Author: Krasimira Nevenova

How will you recognize your dream? By answering two simple questions:

1) Does this activity give me great joy in the doing of it?

2) Do others give me feedback that this activity is blessing them?

When you can answer both of these questions affirmatively, you will have discovered your dream.

Once you have discovered your dream, it is your responsibility to follow it.

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Joy vs. Happiness

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Woman Meditating or Worshiping in AutumnAre you happy?  Are you joyful? The two are not the same, you know.  You can be joyful without being happy, and you can be happy without being joyful. Of course, you can also be both.

Happiness is of the soul; joy is of the spirit.

What does this mean?  It means that happiness depends on circumstances but joy does not.  You can be joyful in the midst of great personal sorrow. In other words, you can experience joy even when your circumstances make you unhappy.  By the same token, you can be happy in your circumstances, but deep down you lack joy.

For example, a woman may be in a very unhappy marriage, but she can still experience the joy of the Lord deep within her spirit.  Or a man may be very unhappy in his job, but he can still experience the joy of the Lord deep down in his spirit.

Joy is the eternal fruit of the Holy Spirit. It supersedes the temporary circumstances of your life and causes you to rise above them.  Happiness, on the other hand, vacillates based on what is happening in your life at any given moment.  The pursuit of happiness will keep you chained to your circumstances and make you a victim of them. The pursuit of joy will set you free to rise above your circumstances.

Scripture tells us that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).  Joy carries us through difficult times in a way that happiness cannot.

Pursue joy above happiness. Happiness can swiftly disappear, but joy remains forever.

Unforgiveness can keep you from experiencing the joy of the Lord.  If you have no joy, ask yourself if you are harboring unforgiveness toward someone who hurt you. If so, you will benefit from reading my powerful story about a woman who had the same struggle. It is called A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING and is available for Kindle, iPad, and Nook.  book-christmas-homecoming-alt

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580

____________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: