Joyful in Hope

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase , “Choose Joy.” a hundred times before. Maybe you’ve even said it yourself. But what does “choosing joy” really look like? We have a choice every day to either have a positive or a negative attitude. Both take effort, but they each have drastically different outcomes. Perhaps you are like myself, and you struggle with fear and anxiety so you think choosing joy may seem harder. Tough times will still come, but joy will make it easier to deal with whatever comes your way. One of my favorite Bible verses says, “Be joyful in hope. Patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12. Let’s dig into that a little more and see what “choosing joy” really means. 

We are told to be joyful in hope, (the hope that we have in The Lord,) knowing that though we may face afflictions, pain and trials, we know that He has already overcome the world, so YES he has also won the battles we are facing RIGHT this VERY minute! {think about that awesome promise for a minute and let that soak in.} We must be faithful in prayer and not let our worries overcome us, or let the enemy distract us so that we don’t pray. Philippians: 4:6 says, “Pray about EVERYTHING.”  Prayer along with God’s word is our power to fight our battles. We can chose to wake up with fear, doubt and anxiety or we can wake up knowing that with God on our side and we can face anything that happens. He has already gone before us and knows every thing that is going to happen. We can rest in the fact that if we stay faithfully seeking Him we will know just how to deal with whatever happens.

Relying on God to begin all over again every day as if nothing had been done yet. {C.S. Lewis}

This C.S. Lewis quote is so true. In the same way that we have to reply on God every single day and keep seeking Him and His will, we have to keep choosing joy every single day. We cant just decide to “choose joy” today and then tomorrow wake up and start the list of complaints and grumbling the minute something goes askew. We have to start over each day and ask the Lord for His will and direction for our day.

Choosing Joy means having faith. Faith tells us to thank Him during the storms. That means allowing ourselves to see things as “half full.” Letting our hearts have joy and peace even during the hard times. The problem with us as humans is, that we think being joyful is the same as being “happy.” Being joyful means we are truly seeking God’s will, regardless of what it may be, knowing He has the best intentions for us. Being happy is circumstantial meaning it can change at any moment when things go from what we think are “good” to “bad.” Things don’t have to be “sunshine and rainbows” in your life for you to be joyful. In fact, I think when things are anything but “sunshine and rainbows” is when I feel God’s joy in my heart even more. It’s like a hug from your father God, telling you that everything is going to be alright.

John Piper says, “Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirt, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.” I love that definition because he hit the nail on the head when he said, “a good feeling in the soul.” Keyword there, SOUL. Because Joy is NOT based on circumstances. Joy is internal. It’s in our SOULS and it CAN NOT be taken away. Joy is something produced by the Holy Spirt inside us. When we “Choose Joy.” We are choosing to rely on God and trust that His plans are best. We are joyful as a result of following Him and trusting in the beauty of Christ and all that He has and will do in us.

“Choosing Joy” means choosing to live with our eyes on God and NOT on the world and our circumstances. Choosing Joy means living for more! Because we have been created for BIG things! Join me TODAY in Choosing Joy!

xoxo,

Elizabeth

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