At times I find it really hard to choose joy. I struggle with anxiety and SERIOUS pms (too much information I know, but it’s true!) I pray often for a joyous heart, I don’t want my kids to grow up and only remembering having a miserable Mom. While we were off on our spring break family vacation, I heard the Holy Spirit telling me numerous times a day ‘choose joy’!! God’s timing is always perfect because every time I heard that whisper, that was the LAST thing I wanted to do! The word Joy is found hundreds of times in the bible and Jesus spoke about it several times. Here are some helpful scriptures that remind me that God wants us to be joyful:
- ‘Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and joy are in His place’ 1Chronicles 16:27- This is so true, when I am connecting with the Lord and spending time in His word, I am in such a better place mentally.
- ‘God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar.’ Nehemiah 12-43- I wish I could have been there to hear the celebration. What an incredible sound and I just picture everyone singing and dancing and praising God. When the Lord fills us with joy, it’s true happiness, not a temporary fill up we get from tangible things. Like when I shop, I really think that’s TRUE joy (and possibly true love!), until I experience being filled with the Holy Spirit and God’s REAL joy.
- ‘You will make known to me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of Joy; In your right hand there are pleasures forever’ Psalms 16:11- I always find Psalms comforting. King David wrote a large part of Psalms and I always love reading his prayers and comforting words. His faith in God was so incredible and true and I find myself often turning to Psalms when I am seeking comfort. And God’s pleasures are FOREVER, I need to focus on that!
- ‘…His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout for joy comes in the morning’ Psalms 30:5- I sometimes find it hard to believe that God isn’t mad at me forever when I mess up. But when I look at it the way I love my children, I can finally wrap my head around Gods true love for me. When I’m upset with my kids, it doesn’t last forever and they have my favor their whole lives. That’s how much He loves us. He hates our sin but he is forever forgiving, and we need to be forever repenting. God’s love and forgiveness isn’t a hall pass, but it is unfailing, we just need to do our part to turn away and learn from our mistakes. Also, everyday is a new day; a new song of praise. If I could just remember to shout for joy in the morning I may not be so grumpy? 😉
- ‘Deceit is in the hearts of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy’ Proverbs 12:20– Oh Proverbs….. my go to guide for wisdom. If we can have peaceful minds, how could we not have more joy?! This goes back to my worry wart ways, I am in fear A LOT. I’ve talked about in previous posts and I’m still struggling with it, but when I’m in the word, I’m at peace, and I am so much HAPPIER. I love the raw, straight forward reminders in Proverbs and I love to read this in the morning because it gives me purpose and direction for my day.
- ‘Your words were found and I ate them, And your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart…’ Jeremiah 15:16 – This really just sums it up, God’s word is SO GOOD!
- ‘Whenever a woman is in labor she has great pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.’ John 16:21- A to the MEN!! It’s truly amazing how quick the pain stops after giving birth and how quickly we forget. Actually, I remembered that pain for a long time after Hudson, and I said for a LONG time I wasn’t doing that again (because I did that 3 times!), and I’m not, BUT I totally would if God had a different plan! haha! But Jesus wasn’t just talking about child labor, He was talking about when He was going to leave the disciples, they were going to experience pain and sorrow, but that He would return and NO ONE could take that joy away ever again. I find it so important to try and focus on the positive. Pain is temporary because our life here on earth is temporary and the joy we will experience in Heaven will never be taken away!
There are times when the last thing we can think about it choosing joy and that’s just a part of life. Life isn’t perfect and we ALL experience pain and deep sorrow, but turning to God will help us get through it all. Day to day stuff is what I struggle with most often and I have every reason to be joyful, but it’s not always easy. So today, I choose joy and I hope and pray that we can all take a moment to remember that God wants us to be joy filled. 🙂
Happy Sunday ya’ll!