Sunday was one of those amazing family days for my little family. Working from home, I’ve been really trying to consciously not let myself go into my home office on Sundays, or accept photo shoots on Sundays, to take a truly allow myself a day of rest to enjoy this little family we’ve become. Working from home, it is always tempting to “oh I’ll just go check my email, or do this one thing to cross off my work to do list” that then sucks me in for a few hours instead spending time with my family like I should be on days off or evenings.
And this past Sunday, was the perfect day. We went to church, came home and had lunch, I did a few errands, then ended our night at the beach with our church family singing worship by guitar and watching others get baptized in the ocean. It was a truly joyful day for us.
Then the next day, something happened that immediately tried to rob of us our joy. It was something so minor, something that shouldn’t have been a big deal but turned into one in our heads. The more we thought and talked about it, the more it festered upsetting us more. The more we gave into thinking negatively about this molehill it became a mountain. When finally, I had to say to Stephen, “We have a choice here. We can dwell on this, or we can think about what a beautiful family day we had yesterday, and focus on the joy we felt that day before this other thing happened.”
Because, y’all, joy is a choice.
And God’s word tells us, even in the trials, we have that free choice to still choose joy. “My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need,” it says in James 1:2-4. Did you see how that equation evolved? Choosing JOY=PERFECT & COMPLETE in the end.
Though the enemy wants to throw disappointment our way, and surround us in unwanted circumstances, the greatest combat we can do is tell him, “Despite this situation, I’m choosing joy.” And that means, finding our joy in the Lord because that’s what makes us strong, He tells us in Nehemiah 8:10. It can be hard to do when you just want to have an ugly cry sometimes, and by all means, sometimes that ugly cry is just needed. But do it, get it out of your system, then move forward choosing joy even when you don’t feel like it. Because feelings are great followers but terrible leaders, and faith will always steer you in the right direction.
TRUTH TO TUCK IN YOUR HEART:
“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him, and he helps me. I am very happy, and I praise him with my song.” -Psalm 28:7
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:8-9
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 15:13
“Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.” – Psalm 27:6
PUT IT INTO ACTION:
What circumstance are you dwelling on that you should be choosing joy about? What is one baby step you can take to turn your thinking around despite this circumstance?