Morning Cup of Joe – The Joy in Pain

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Trials and tribulations aren’t meant to tear or break us down. They aren’t meant to see how low we can go nor are they meant to test our stamina. The trials and tribulations we face in our lives are meant to build us up. When we think about all of the misfortunes that we have experienced throughout our lives the fact that we are still standing is a great sign that we are conquering, have conquered or will conquer our problems. Understand the fact that no problem is insurmountable.

Many people question God as to why he allows us to experience pain and hurt. I’ve learned over the years that in order to appreciate joy sometimes we must experience pain. Instead of dealing with it head on, most people try to avoid pain. Sadly, the more you try to avoid trials, challenges & obstacles, the less strength you will develop in those areas. Stare your challenges in the face and adopt a conquerors attitude of “bring it on”.

It took me a while to fully understand what I am about to share with you; God only puts you through things because he knows you can handle them. I’m certain you are familiar with the old adage that God will never give you more than you can handle; this is the honest truth. Understand and trust that whatever it is you are going through it is something that you absolutely can handle and positively can overcome otherwise you wouldn’t be experiencing it.

Much like we must exercise regularly in order to strengthen our physical muscles, we must continue to pray and accept life’s challenges in order to strengthen our spiritual muscle.

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Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Steal Your Joy

My life experience has taught me that happiness is indeed a choice. While this may not be a surprise to some, many people act as if they are not in control of their own happiness. No one can steal your joy without your permission. Will people try? Absolutely they will. The bigger question is; will you allow them to?

You ever notice when you are happy some people just want to test you to see if they can wipe that smile off of your face? They will stop at nothing to attempt to bring you down. Indeed misery loves company and most miserable people don’t even know how miserable they are until they run into a person who appreciates life and everything in it. If you find yourself looking at happy people with disdain in your heart then you are part of this group. If you find yourself looking at smiling strangers and wondering what they are so happy about then you are a part of this group. Stop worrying about why others are so happy and start figuring out how to find your own happiness.

Choose happiness. Choose to live a life free of regret. If you have people in your life who bring you down instead of lifting you up then you must remove them. Otherwise it will be challenging to choose happiness. Some of these people may even be the closest to you. While it is difficult to part ways with some people in our lives, you must ask yourself if your health, well-being and happiness are worth less than the connection you have with that person. I think we both know the answer to that question.

Don’t let anyone steal your joy. No one can without your permission.

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Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Finding Happiness

A recent study found that there is no significant difference in the level of happiness between individuals who earn $50,000 per year in income and someone who earns $50,000,000. I find this fascinating because most people define happiness based on the accumulation of wealth falsely adopting a mindset of and sincerely believing that the more money they make or have the happier they will be. Fortunately, that could not be further from the truth. Happiness is a choice and is not defined by the stuff you have but by the love you give.

The happiest among us are those who appreciate what they have, are not concerned with this feeling of excess or need to acquire things and those who have good and close relationships with friends and family. Nothing and no thing can bring you happiness. You may think that having a nice car, precious jewelry or fancy clothes will bring you happiness but it truly does not. What those “things” give you is fleeting pleasure but not long-lasting happiness.

Happiness comes from the service we provide for others and the consideration we show for our fellow man. Doesn’t it feel good to give or do for someone else? Of course it does. Do not be so hung up on the idea that you need to be rich in order to be happy. Choose happiness right where you sit by first appreciating the life you live and everything in it. Contrary to popular belief, what makes you rich isn’t the amount of money you have. What makes you rich is love and being at peace with oneself; not having a whole bunch of cash, things or stuff.

Reevaluate your idea of what it means to be rich and wealthy and start appreciating all of the blessings you currently have in your life. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, you will never be able to buy happiness.

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Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Heavy Heart

As I walked to the store one day, I am not sure if I just never paid any attention before or if I was simply oblivious but I notice now more than ever the faces of so many that seem downtrodden and hopeless. These faces once innocent have transformed into a hopeless oval. As I got closer to the store, a man stopped and asked me for a dime. I wondered what exactly he can get for a dime. Then I thought maybe my dime was all he needed to make a dollar so that he can get something to eat. In a world filled with so much abundance, there is no reason why people are hungry. I have seen people waste more food than they eat. I know what it’s like to not have something to eat. I have spent many nights without a bite to eat and trust that there is no pain like hunger pains. One of the main reasons why I give is because I have been there.

Some pain you feel sometimes seem intolerable and the hurt too heavy to bear. Negative thoughts find comfort in your mind while you contemplate the worst possible outcomes. You try to smile to keep from crying but the tears overpower your joy. You wonder when will this feeling end and if you can do anything to speed up the process. You think that being alone is the best way to cope but that’s when the devil is hardest at work as negative thought after negative thought fill your head.

Even with all of the pain we witness on a daily basis including our own, the faith that joy has a possibility of coming in the morning is what keeps me hopeful. Some people give up way too soon. Some people take their own lives because they believed that the pain they were experiencing was simply too much to handle. I submit to you that the strongest pain comes before the greatest joy. The saddest moments come before the peak of happiness. The heaviest rain comes before the brightest sunshine. Just hold on. Hold on to the idea that this too shall pass, whatever it is you are going through can’t possibly last forever. Your time will come. Some days it seems like it will never come but know and trust that it will.

I have seen this cycle before. I have felt this pain before. I have experienced a similar hurt before. That is why I remain optimistic. That is why I cannot give up. That is why I will remain hopeful and I pray that you do too.

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Joe Paul

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