Choosing Joy

I had a bear of a morning.  Tessa changed clothes multiple times.  Talan would not stop making his toy dinosaur screech.  We barely made it out of the garage before the first sibling fight.  They cried when I left them at daycare.  I had the dreaded outdoor duty when I got to school.  A student had the audacity to come to his semester test without something to write with……GROWL.  I got them testing and sat down to my morning devotional, and it’s about joy.  Ha! God has a sense of humor, huh?

The devotional began with John 10:10, which reads “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  When translated to “The Message Bible” as I like to do, it says that Jesus wants us to have a real life which is better than we ever dreamed of.  The devotional went on to say that this means our lives should be so full that others look at us and crave to know the source of that fullness.   I immediately asked myself, “When I run around stressed and angry (even if it’s just in the mornings), are people seeing the joy of the Lord in me?”  The answer is obviously no. 

Another quote that stood out is this:  “Joy is an inside job, deeply rooted in the confidence that God is in control.”  This means a few things.  First, only I can choose joy for myself.  It is a choice to have joy from within.  Second, joy should be easy for me if I believe God is in control.  If I, as the quote says, have confidence from within that God is in control, I should not let little things like the events of this morning take my joy.  Similarly, my joy cannot be dependent upon the “things” or circumstances that surround me.  No matter what worldly goods I lack, and no matter what happens to me in life, God never leaves me, so neither should my joy. 

My prayer is that this confidence and joy in God will become second nature to me.  That before I growl on a rough morning, I will rejoice in God and choose joy.  May I live in a way that people can look at me and see the joy of the Lord even in stressful situations.

“Joy is the flag that flies above the castle of our hearts, indicating that the King reigns within.”  ~ Walter B. Knight

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