October 13, 2016

Reacting to Circumstances and Choosing Joy

I often got annoyed when people would say "choose joy." Like, what the heck do you even mean you optimistic weirdo?!?
Then, I lost some joy, and I started studying how to get it back! I learned something...

Choosing joy can happen in two ways... It happens proactively and reactively. Making choices for the day, at the start of the day, to count my blessings and focus on the eternal is proactive. Reactive joy choosing happens once I’ve ended up in that place of stress, frustration and anger. It's all in how I choose to react to it. And I know, sometimes it's hard to choose, sometimes we just react with a snap! It happens. But more often than not, we can try to control the reaction and choose to be joyful rather than let the circumstance get the best of us.

Just this morning, at 4:30, I had a "why me?" moment. My daughter is sick, my son is needy, I am awake taking care of both of them when I really just want to be asleep. I had to just snap out of it! Choose joy!! Choose to remember why I'm up at 4:30, cause I have two amazing small children who need me. Boom. Lucky lady.

Joy comes from God. From knowing how blessed we are. From knowing that "He's got this!"

Lemme share a passage I read... Check out Acts 16:16-40, I'll set it up for you...Paul and Silas are in prison... tortured, without trial. Verse 25, Paul and Silas are singing hymns to God. Like, what do they have to sing about?!?!

This is their reaction to their circumstance?!?!

What can we learn from them?

I think we can learn HOPE and that's intertwined with Joy. Paul and Silas know who won! God wins, every time. You already know the ending to your story.

The struggles of this life CANNOT affect our joy. It's a choice. You can let the struggle define you, you can give in to a freak out moment, you can choose to REACT to your circumstance, or you can CHOOSE JOY. The joy is based on the spiritual reality of who God is and what He has promised. God is good, regardless of your situation.

James 1: 2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Romans 8:28 God works all things together for good for those who love the Lord, for those who are called according to His purpose.

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