There are moments, days, seasons that are full of good news. Things have fallen into place, and even if there's a challenge, it is easy to look around at all that is going well. Choosing joy in these times is still necessary, though the choice is arguably easier when the joy flows naturally within our circumstances.
But what about moments, days, seasons that are hard? Ones where things seem to be falling apart, and even if there's a glimpse of good news, it is easy to look around at all that is going wrong?
In December, shortly after I launched the blog, I shared about the faithfulness of God during a particularly hard month. Little did I know, that was the beginning of a season that would require being quite intentional about choosing joy.
I know there are those whose suffering runs deeper than I've ever known. Chronic illness, the death of a loved one, homelessness, abandonment. I am not implying your situation does not warrant mourning. Rather, if you are in a season of grief and hurting, please email me so that I can pray with and for you!
But I write this from a place of experiencing a season where joy did not come easily for me. In the period of 3 short months we were faced with an unexpected injury, illness, loss of work, attachment issues, severe behavioral challenges, loss of a loved one, and heart breaking news about a child we had prayed 2 years for.
Yesterday, we received a phone call about one of our children's health, and the information was overwhelming. I received the phone call just as I was processing the 'failure' of my plan to publish the children's book I have been working on. It was, again, a day where I had to choose joy intentionally. So, here I am, friends. Sharing in the hopes of encouraging you. It is possible to be intentional about choosing joy.
Let's take some time to dig into what the Bible has to say about joy, and then I'll share some 'how tos' that I pray will help you in your journey!
what joy is.
It is a joy for the just to do justice, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.
Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
where joy is found.
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord, And the poor among men shall rejoice In the Holy One of Israel.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
why we can have joy.
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
when we should have joy.
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.
Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
2 Corinthians 7:4
That in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.
2 Corinthians 8:2
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
how we can be intentional about choosing joy.
What situations - big or small - have you allowed to steal your joy? How are you intentional about choosing joy? Is there something you can do today to choose joy?
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 6! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe of little people to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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