At the beginning of the year it seemed that everyone was picking their "word" for the year. I thought about it....."One word! No way can I find one word to work with for an entire year! With all the glorious words in the English language, how on earth can a person choose just one?"
So I went half of the year without a word, which ended up being okay because it took those first five months to show me that I did in fact need a word. And that word was JOY.
One of the things that the Lord has taught me about joy this year is that it is a choice. Of course there is the feeling of joy and happiness, but joy is sometimes almost a verb. It is something that you have to choose to be. Even the disciples had times when they experienced great persecution and chose to have joy. When I wake up in the morning, God offers me His gift of joy. I can choose to take that gift and find my joy and solace in Him, or I can shun His gift and wonder why I feel so crabby. It seems like a no brainer, but I find that more often than not I ignore this gift.
Another thing I have learned about joy is that in order to live a life of joy, you have to be serving the Lord, which in turn leads to serving others. I never feel more joyful than when I am serving someone else - with the right heart attitude. ;) When I spend my time and days serving myself it is virtually impossible to be joyful....why? Well because I am a very selfish, sinful human being that is never satisfied no matter how much I serve myself. However, when I set my heart and focus on serving others, there is fulfillment beyond imagination. Even the most monotonous day is suddenly a spring bubbling forth with activity and adventure.
But the biggest thing the Lord has taught me about joy is that no matter what my circumstances are, now matter how busy or boring life may be, His salvation (the gospel) is the number one reason that I should choose joy! Even if there was nothing else good in my life, the fact that the Lord loves me and has saved me is enough to find joy every single day of my life!!!!!! I can rejoice in His salvation. No matter how difficult the situation or circumstance may be, I have the assurance of my salvation because of Jesus' sacrifice for me. That is the GREATEST NEWS EVER!!!!!
Jesus Christ is my joy!
He is my strength,
He is my song,
He is the reason I have life and breath.
HE IS MY JOY!!!!!!