Choose Joy

camera first day 066camera first day 066camera first day 066As the days have gone on and I’ve become less anxious about having another panic attack, I’ve been trying to discern what I should change and what I can do to better prepare myself for the next time I’m faced with a fearful situation.

I am definitely beginning to think that this panic disorder is my “thorn” that will probably be something I deal with until the day I die and rest in Jesus’ arms.  Grrr….  I was really hoping that I would ‘grow out’ of it!!!

However, after what I heard on the radio this past weekend, I have a better understanding of what my choices are in each moment God gives me.

As I was on my way to church Sunday morning, I heard a small piece of a tragic story of death, pain and joy.

Joy?  Yep, joy.

I know, I know.  The word, joy, sounds strange coming after death and pain.

What I caught was just a quick commercial about a book written by Kay Warren, but it made an impression that I’m not likely to soon forget.

The book, Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, was written by Kay after her and her husband, Rick, (yes, the author of The Purpose Driven Life) lost their son to suicide two years ago on April 5, 2013.

Don’t know about you, but I had no clue.  It doesn’t help that my sources for news only include Austin Business Journal, Impact News and Facebook!!!

Regardless of when I learned of this heartbreaking story, I think it is an important subject that we all could use a refresher course on!

The subject isn’t what can we do to avoid pain, but it is how can we choose joy every moment of every day!!!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that joy is easily chosen when things are going our way. But, to choose joy in the midst of pain, death, fear and catastrophe is difficult to say the least.

Happiness is fleeting, but joy can remain a constant no matter what our circumstances.  The difference is that happiness is man-made and joy is God-made. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…. Galatians 5:22

God provides our joy and we can accept His Will or we can try to go it on our own.  Inevitably, we lose if we do not submit to Him.

The easiest lie to believe is that we are meant to be happy in life.

The truth is we are meant to surrender our entire life and being to God so that He can use us for His Glory, not our own. This is a harsh reality in a society that thinks the end-all-be-all is fame, fortune and fun times.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

As I’ve thought about the people I know who have gone through tragedies and survived with joy still intact, I’ve realized that every single one of these people are bound to Jesus Christ more tightly than anyone else I know.

Coincidence?  I think not.

We each face traumatic experiences and I do not know a soul who leads a charmed life. Of course, we may think someone lives a life of leisurely ease, but I would dare say that everyone has a thorn of their own to bear.  They may just hide it better than others!

Plus, comparing ourselves to others will zap the joy right out of us anyway!!

So, how do we choose joy?  Why don’t you ask God!

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 17:22 – A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

2 Responses

  1. Joy and Happiness are in such short supply in this world. Most people chase happiness as a goal when it is fleeting upon arrival. When you achieve what you think will make you happy today, the thought then becomes something else in a never ending chase.

    Joy should be the real goal and it is something that we should be cultivating as it doesn’t just happen. It has to be cultivated like an orchard. This is particularly difficult for those that suffer from depression, like a thick blanket over the top of everything that dulls the senses to just about everything including the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit. But, with Faith, this thorn of the flesh can be weathered too, it is just very hard to have a consistent grasp on Joy as the waves of highs and lows wash over.

    The greatest joy will be in that day when we can go home to our loving creator and leave the thorns of this life behind.

    • Amen, Jason! Sorry I am just responding. For some reason I didn’t see this until just now when someone else commented on yesterday’s post. Hope you are doing well!!!

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