You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Last Christmas I gave my daughter a bracelet that had two simple words engraved on it – CHOOSE JOY. I have decided this is my new mantra, and I strive to have it be the foundation of my life every day. It has to be a conscious decision because there are days when it is not so easy to be Joyful. The apostle Paul is a great example of a person accepting his current circumstances. He stood firm in the Lord and responded with Joy, even when he was in prison and his death was a certainty. We can see his urgency in spreading the gospel and supporting his brothers in Christ as we read the many letters in the New Testament written to churches in various cities.
We can use Joy to fight back fear and pain, and, in the process, we may fill those around us with Joy and hope. We need to seek God in every situation, and declare his goodness on the darkest days. Stay conscious of God's fierce love for you and remember He is up to something in your life! There is something beautiful to be found in having a faith grounded in love, mercy, and the grace of God. Knowing the truth of who God is – and who we are because of Christ – deeply embedded in our hearts and minds will position us for Joy and peace regardless of our daily circumstances.
As Margaret Feinberg states in her book, Fight Back With Joy, “When we fight back with Joy, we awaken the deepest reality of our identity as beloved, delightful children of God. Joy is your heritage, purpose, and destiny.”
Lord, help me always to choose Joy and be thankful for the multitude of blessings you shower on me each day. Help me to always rest in God's extravagant love and know that believing in Jesus will position me for Joy and peace regardless of my circumstances. Amen