Finally… Choose Joy

 

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Finally…
rejoice in the Lord.

Sometimes its all a matter of how we look at something.

Finally, as in–it’s about time? Enough already. At last…

Have you ever read this verse tucked away in the third chapter of Philippians from the perspective that God is just waiting for us to get it? Waiting for the truth to sink in deep, transform our perspective, and move us to choose joy?

Choose joy? Really?

Maybe you’re thinking, yeah right. How can I rejoice with _______ going on in my life? I can barely keep my head above water and things can’t get any worse. I’d love to be joyful, but I just can’t.

Maybe you feel like finding joy in the hard things is only for the spiritual super heroes–those that can leap over the walls of hardship in a single bound.

I’ve felt that way.

  • There have been many pit days of feeling stuck in the miry clay of challenges.
  •  In-the-pit days of trying to put on a happy face and talk myself out of a good sulk.
  • Times when my emotions get pulled under the weight of circumstances and problems. Days I’d rather scream than get out my joy pom-poms and work up a good cheer.
  • Moments when faith comes hard and I just don’t understand.

 

Deliberate confidence in God #chambers

Paul knew all of this and more as he wrote about joy from the confines of prison.

The Apostle Paul tells us that choosing to rejoice in the Lord is a safeguard. Joy protects? How can this be? Choosing to rejoice in the Lord, rather than in our circumstances, emotions, or strength provides a strong foundation for faith.

No one can rejoice for you, or for me. There are just some things that only you can do. And yet, rejoicing in the pits of life  requires a dose of grace and faith–the ability to trust God with our lives and the fruit of His Spirit at work within.

Left to myself, I will sulk, complain, gripe, cry, and send out invitations to my pity party. Choosing this route only digs me deeper into the muck of my emotions.

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Yet choosing to rejoice in God shows that we trust Him.

Have you noticed that it’s hard to worry and rejoice at the same time. Doubt and suspicion, those questions that nag at our faith, drown out joy faster than a bucket of water douses out a fire.

 Joy is a safeguard for the soul.

Meet your resistance and your troubles with the strength of choosing to rejoice in God.

Hannah C. Hall writes, “All that wonderful stuff we sing when life feels blessed—about how good God is and how He holds us in the storms and how His love and peace and grace are sufficient even in the awful places…it is true.”

Paul writes these words, confirmining our relationship with God: You are the true circumcision. By faith, grafted into the family of God, you’re not left out or overlooked. By faith, relationship with God rests on position of grace, not successful performance or good behavior. And that’s a joy thing for sure!

So choose joy.

When you have fallen into that same issue again and again, choose to rejoice in the forgiveness of God. Remember who you are– part of God’s family, secure even when faith falters and sin sways.

When the future is uncertain and problems appear to have no answers, rest in the joy that God is faithful. When you  feel alone, insecure, or without worth, hold fast to the joyful truth that God will never forsake you. Roll your cares on God–He’s enough.

Discover joy that protects and guards your soul.

5 Reasons to choose joy.

5 Reasons to Choose Joy

 

  • “I have loved you with an everlasting love.–Jeremiah 31:3
  • God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction…–2 Corinthians 1:3
  • Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. –Psalm 68:19
  •  “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”–Hebrews 13:5
  • Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us–Ephesians 3:20

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Discover joy that protects and guards your soul.How will you choose joy today?

Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God.

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Today I’m having fun linking up with Three Word Wednesdays and Coffee For Your Heart. What joy it is to build community with other bloggers. You’ll find some great ones here.

14 Comments

  1. Joy…it really is a choice, isn’t it? I want that deep, abiding joy that reminds me no matter what my circumstances, that He holds me in the palm of His hand. Blessings!

    • Ginger Harrington

      Sometimes it’s a hard choice, and other times it bubbles up from our soul. Too many times, I haven’t chosen joy. Thanks for your words today, my friend. Praying God’s precious joy for you!

  2. I was just writing up a blog post for my other blog (a private one, just for family). I had to stop three paragraphs in because I realized everything was really a complaint. And yet I have everything I need and in the grand scheme of things I’m just sweating the small stuff or worrying about things that might never even happen. I’m glad I stopped and found my way here, to be reminded that I can *choose* joy.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Choo-choo, I’ve taken way too many rides on the “Complain Train.” Isn’t it crazy how you can just get into a negative roll and totally lose perspective. Thanks for sharing today, Kristen!

  3. Wow. I love this piece for this little piece of my life. So many powerful points that all I can do is re-read it. My little girls and I are doing a study (kid style) on Paul’s words in the book of Philippians this summer. This grows it up for me! Thank you.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Don’t you just love it when God gives the same passage to you in multiple directions. That’s happened for me this week in John 14. Yep, I bet I’ll be learning then writing something on that one. Hope you’re having a good summer. Thanks so much for you’re encouragement!

  4. Thank you Ginger. Interestingly, I wrote about choosing faith today and you wrote about choosing joy. Yes to both!

  5. I spent most of the past 2 years chasing joy. I never caught any. Then, in the past few weeks, God taught me that there is no joy apart from trust in Him and confidence in His love. Once I recognized that I am submerged in His love, joy came busting out all over!

    • Ginger Harrington

      Oh Sherry I love that for you! Thanks for sharing the reality of your experience! Blessings my friend!

  6. Love, love, love this, Ginger. God has taught me much this year on choosing JOY no matter the circumstances. And you are so right when you say, you can’t worry and rejoice at the same time. I’ve never thought about it that way before but such truth. May we choose to REJOICE. Always. I love your heart!! Much love. xoxo

    • Ginger Harrington

      It’s always a treat to see what stood out to folks. Thanks for your encouraging feedback. We’re all in the same boat–we need to choose joy and sometimes is just hard! Blessings your way!

  7. Wow, yes, so many things about what you said are true. I love the thought that joy is a protector, a “safeguard for our soul” as you say. That is beautifully profound and truly works on my heart. Thank you for this!

    • Ginger Harrington

      I’m so glad. If your heart is like mine–it needs the reminder. Hope your week gets off to a great start!

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