Joy, safeguard for the soul, is ours for the choosing if we overcome the things that steal joy. We’re continuing to dig into Philippians 3, so feel free to read the other posts in this series in case you missed them– Finally…Choose Joy and Choose Joy: Let Go of Joy Stealers.
“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” (Philippians 3:7-8).
Joy Stealer: Valuing the lesser prize.
Like Paul, we’ve all racked up a few accolades and accomplishments. The thrill of success and the blessings we enjoy can easily become prizes we hold tightly. It’s easy to get caught in the lure of the shiny trinkets this world values.
Even in serving God, we find can joy and purpose in the doing rather than in the One who is all joy. With misplaced priorities, we run after the good at the cost of the best.
Choose Joy: Rest in the rightness of knowing Christ.
“…be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him…” (v.9-10).
Self-sufficiency snatches joy and stomps it right into the ground. To be found in Christ, to know His way of thinking and being right, releases us from the chains of proving our own worth. Rest and let joy rise up from a heart set free and set right by Christ.
How often I cling to people, possessions, and passions as sources of my joy. To know Christ, to truly value Him above all else is the real source of joy. “The greatest gift God graces a soul with is His own presence” writes Ann Voskamp in The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp, p. 41.
Choose Christ and receive joy of true life.
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.–John 17:3
Joy Stealer: Chasing the false win.
Though we may often feel that joy is more of an emotion than a choice, truth is, we can choose joy. We can beat the joy stealers that sway us to distraction, competition, and complaint.
Like most things worth reaching for, choosing joy is often a process.
At times, I wish that I had a little joy switch, a simple lever tucked away. Joy for the flick of a finger–easy peasy. No sweat and no tears.
And wouldn’t it be great if we could beat the joy stealers, tearing across the finish line of joy once and for all? Joy begins with a choice, an intention, but it is in the persevering that joy grows strong.
Choose Joy by holding on to the true source of life and joy. Nothing is more valuable that knowing Christ and receiving the joy that comes from living through Him.
Where is your joy today?
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