More Than a Feeling

Joy comes and goes, often at the whim of our emotions. Have you noticed that? In reality, joy is a fruit of the Spirit, which is oh-so-much-more than a feeling. As a fruit of God’s Spirit–it is a showing forth of His character, His joy, in us. Kind of makes your head spin, doesn’t it?

Too often my mind mixes joy and happiness together with a have-it–my-way preference. Circumstances, emotions, and expectations prop up my feelings and I want to call it joy. We’re continuing the dive into joy in Philippians 3, for we simply can’t have too much joy.

Joy is oxygen to the soul–we breathe it in and God brings forth life.

Joy is oxygen to the soul

If you missed the other posts on joy, you can find them here:

Finally, Choose Joy

Choose Joy: Let Go of Joy Stealers

Joy in Knowing: Choose Christ and Receive Joy.

 Joy Stealer: Expecting to be there already.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect (complete), but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12).

Ever struggle with the expectation that you should have arrived by now? That somehow you should have gotten your act together, overcome the struggle? How many times have I raked my heart across the burning coals of self-condemnation, wondering how can I still be struggling with this fear, that temptation, those irritations…

Truth is, no matter how hard I try, in my own effort and abiltity, I can never be enough, do enough to make it on my own. Sure I can achieve some measure of what this crazy world calls success.

Yet the peace and joy that my soul craves comes only from placing my trust and confidence in Christ.

Standing firm in Christ, joy becomes a viable choice for He has done what I cannot. My self-effort falls short but in Christ I am restored.

Choose Joy: Press on.

Friend, will you join me in letting go of the expectation that by our own efforts we will beat the thousand counterfeits that rise up to snatch joy away? Let’s unfurl that clenched fist of ambition to make it on our own.

Can we choose joy together?

Could we let go of the pressure to make ourselves strong, earn our way, right our wrongs, and fight our battles with the self-life that craves for control and perfection apart from Christ?

What would happen if we agree to be what we are…sinners…saved by grace and made new with God’s love?

Accepting who we are

Accepting who we are.

How will joy come gentle like rain in the relief of simply receiving grace in this moment?

And the next?

And the one after that?

Press on, one moment at a time, one choice at a time.

Reach for the One who holds you secure in the palm of His hand. Let go of your joy stealers, for you have already been laid hold of the One who IS joy.

All my springs of joy are in you.

Together, let’s shout to the Lord, “All my springs of joy are in you” (Psalm 87:7).

How are you choosing joy today?

Tweets to share:

Joy is oxygen to the soul–we breathe it in and God brings forth life.

Peace and joy my soul craves comes from placing my trust in Christ.

Press on, one moment at a time, one choice at a time.


  1. Yep Definitely struggling with the feeling I should have arrived by now, so I’m glad for another reminder that this is a choice. I can choose joy and I can choose gratitude and I can remember tha I’m exactly where God needs me to be (whether I understand it right now or not).

    • Ginger Harrington

      Trusting God in this moment is really all we need to do. If we can rest in faith right where we are, we can remember to choose joy. This feeling of meeting our goals is often a pressure we have put on ourselves–at least I know I have. Thanks for joining me, Kristen. I’ve enjoyed connecting with you in this lovely bloggy world.

  2. This can be a very difficult thing for me to do. I struggle with anxiety on a daily basis AND I’m planning a wedding(that has had it’s fair share of hiccups, big and small), moving next week, and have started a new job. Transition makes my anxiety skyrocket. And I really feel my anxiety – it manifest physically. BUT what I’ve learned is that in the midst of the “joy-stealers”, I still have a choice. I can choose to trust God’s character, though I don’t seem to be experiencing it at the moment. If I stop a moment, and breath deep, there is much to be thankful for. Through the madness of the wedding planning, my fiance and I still find time to laugh and remember why we are going through this time – because we want to make a marriage covenant to each other. I realize why I took a new job – because God answered my prayers with it. I realize why I’m moving – because I finally get to make a house a home. I’ve been so worried about being the perfect _____________(fill in that blank with fiancee, wife, employee, friend, daughter, etc.) and I’m tired. I’d rather have joy than perfection, and perfection isn’t even promised here – but joy is. Thank you Ginger – this has challenged my focus today.

    • Ginger Harrington

      No wonder you are struggling with feeling tired–you are in the crux of several major life changes all at once. Even transitions we are excited about can be stressful, and I understand the physical manifestations of anxiety very personally. I will be praying for you–for physical and spiritual rest in the midst of all the wonderful, but busy transitions facing you. Keep breathing and counting those blessings.I love the way you stated that you’d rather have joy than perfection!

  3. Thanks for sharing this today. I needed to hear how joy is being stolen from me. I need to choose it. No more feeling stuck! Blessings!

  4. This really spoke to me. I do struggle with feeling as If I haven’t arrived. Thank you for giving me the reminder to breathe Him in!

  5. Henri Nouwen says, “We must choose joy and keep on choosing every day.” I found that to be true–it’s an everyday choosing. I love how you said it — “one more choice at a time.” ~Pamela

    • Ginger Harrington

      Thanks for sharing this quote–love it! And so true. Must admit, I had too many moments today where I chose frustration rather than joy… So happy you stopped by today. Blessings.

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