For most people joy is not a feeling it is a choice. It’s choosing to say that I won’t wait until good happens when I feel happy. Rather, I will choose to be joyful in all circumstances. Romans 12:2 urges us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Is that not the prescription for our pain? Choose to be joyful in hope-change your perspective. Make a commitment to look at your circumstances through the eyes of God. When we do that we can be patient in affliction because we know pain doesn’t last forever, and if God be for us who can be against us? We know that all things will work together for the good of the those who love the Lord, and are called according to his purpose. Finally, be faithful in prayer-pray without ceasing. Be real with God and show him your wounds. He wants to heal. He wants us to be able to chose joy. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Meaning, it’s one of his characteristics.
This also shows that joy isn’t the first response of our flesh. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth and understanding. Galatians 5-22-23 tells us that that the fruit if the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Did you see how joy, patience, and faithfulness was in our first verse above? Is that not cool?! We have to rely on Jesus to help us choose joy and change our perspectives. It doesn’t come naturally. We must be committed to discipline. Proverbs 17:22 shows us that a cheerful or joyful heart is good
medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. It dries up the bones. Wow. Isn’t it so true though? When we choose to become so bogged down with the cares of life and adopt a “woe is me” attitude it sucks the life out of everything! Including ourselves. Joy is medicine. It heals us and prompts us to place our hope in our Creator. The enemy doesn’t want us to feel the peace and comfort that comes with walking with God. That’s why it seems so hard to dodge the dark cloud. But, this is our choice to make. Life or lack their of. Lastly, James 1:2-3, tells us to consider it pure joy , my brothers and sisters, when we face trials of many kinds, because we know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. The fact that we are referred to as brothers and sisters in the verse gives me comfort, not only because we are family in the kingdom of God. It comforts me because I know that I’m not alone in hard times. We have to know that. We aren’t the only ones experiencing hard times and we can talk to someone about it. It’s true. The worst thing we can do is take on isolation when we are in painful situations. Believe me, I have done this, and it sucks! God didn’t create us to experience life alone, good or bad. Confide in someone, ask them to pray with you, or just listen and pray for you! If you can’t think of anyone to be honest with, be honest with God and ask him to bring you someone, or show you someone already in your life you may have looked over. The world tells us that trials = trouble, but the word says, trials = joy, because God is only making us stronger. Which perspective will we choose today? Medicine or dried up bone? Permanent joy or temporary happiness? Life or lack their of?
❤ Annette D.
* All images from bible.com