What is choosing joy?October 3, 2015 - Author: Bernadette Saddik
Question for you: What does “choosing joy” look like to you in a situation that does not seem joyful?
Paul and Silas seemed to have interpreted choosing joy as choosing to continue God’s ministry. You can read about this event here: Paul and Silas: Ministry in Prison.
Mocked, beaten up, imprisoned — yet these two still sang praises! And, they sang with such vigor that the whole prison heard them.
Big example to follow.
On some of my harder days, the only sound I want the world to hear is “AAARRGH!” Transitioning that to “God is GOOD!” takes effort.
It’s a decision.
It’s a choice.
It’s a choice to view that ‘bad’ day in light of a greater plan instead of isolated in the moment.
Is that not what Paul and Silas did? They took the opportunity of the prison to continue their calling: spreading the gospel.
And, as Paul later explains, fulfilling God’s purpose for him brings him great joy:
“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” Philippians 1:18 KJV
Still, when it feels like God is not there to be chosen,
when we feel so lost that even imagining what joy tastes like seems a challenge,
when we wonder why God seems silent,
when we wonder when, or if, the sounds of gladness will ring…
it can be hard to open our eyes and see and choose Christ’s ever-present love for us.
I get it. It is a vicious cycle.
But then we look beyond the moment. Beyond that moment imprisoned.
For Paul and Silas, it was a literal prison.
But our fears, our sorrows, our frustrations can become our prisons.
We imprison ourselves in them when we get caught up in their moment.
Good news for you — gospel news!
Those demons do not — in Christ’s victory, cannot — outlast God.
Peace reigns. Purpose reigns.
Joy reigns. Love Himself reigns.
Because God is greater than the obstacles which so easily entangle.
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4 KJV
As such, to me, finding joy is not necessarily looking in the moment, but in what God is making of that moment.
And independent of whatever is going on in your life, God has a joy-filled plan for all who trust Him.
When I hear, “Choose joy,” I remember to choose God.
Because God offers joy and far, far more.
So, fellow adventurers in faith, I ask you:
What does choosing joy look like to you?
Why do you think choosing joy is helpful?
How do you remember God’s presence in your life during particularly painful struggles?
Comment below, or you can contact me with your insight!
May your day be brighter and your dreams sweeter
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…
Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:4, 8-9 KJV