I will choose JOY!
Updated: Jul 25, 2021
It’s been a while since I wrote, I almost forgot what my own blog looked like. But this evening finds me in a quite place and thinking about what God has been teaching me these past few months.
In a nutshell it’s JOY.
So it all started like this in my small group one evening:
Me: I know I need to be happy and joyful but I just can’t get to that place.
Friend: You know Joy is a choice right?
Me: (Look of shock) What? No, love and forgiveness are choices but joy is a feeling.
Friend: No JOY is definitely a choice.
Husband: I just pulled this up on my phone Chantal, have a read…
Me: (I read the quote that is pictured below.) Oh dear me…I am in big trouble for believing that joy is a feeling. Now I have to choose it and that is NOT going to be easy these next few months. But now that I know what I know I am convicted and convinced this is what God is teaching me.
So while on this journey learning how to choose joy I’ve been reading in 2 Corinthians 5-10 since Christmas. I have learned so much through these passages. Here are the key verses that hit me:
12 My purpose, then, was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could see for yourselves how loyal you are to us. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:12
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
My thought was this, how loyal am I to God that I will choose JOY? Would I choose joy in the midst of a trial? My perspective is not always clear. I don’t know what God’s plan is for me and is what breaks my heart something worldly or something I simply think I want? Or is it what God wants. Am I only choosing JOY when things are going well? Is that in fact what choosing JOY looks like?
…we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended. 16 Then we will be able to go and preach the Good News in other places far beyond you… ~ 2 Corinthians 10:15-16
This verse challenges me on a deeper level. Sometimes I think I don’t choose JOY because perhaps I don’t have deep faith. This verse says something HUGE about our faith. How much or little faith we have WILL determine God’s boundaries in our lives. How far can our faith extend….how far am I willing to allow my faith to extend? I think this has a lot to do with choosing JOY because when our faith is tested, so is the choice to choose JOY.
Here’s the bittersweet part of all this. God has placed no restrictions on us in the area of faith, love and choosing JOY. But we have our own restrictions that prevent us from getting closer to HIM. This passage reminds us of how God feels about us.
For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:
“I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. 18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
~2 Corinthians 6:16-18
My question to you all is simple. What is restricting you from drawing nearer to God? Is it a lack of JOY, lack of faith? Perhaps you feel as though your life is full of unanswered prayers and misfortune and God is holding back from you. Or maybe you’re having a ‘rosy posy day’ and everything is cheery but you still feel a gap in your heart.
Whatever it is, we are son’s and daughter’s of the Lord Almighty and He is our God. We must learn to actually believe that with our hearts and not just know it in our head.
2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. ~2 Corinthians 8:2
in the clay,