Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Today is the release date for my brand new book Joyful Living. I’m so excited to share this book with you. Every devotional in this book comes straight from my heart. Over and over again God has brought me back to these pages to remind me that joy is a choice. Satan can’t steal my joy unless I let him. This is my new favorite saying! Every time something comes up to destroy my joy, I repeat this to myself. I believe it with my whole heart. If I give in to satan for a second… He’ll not only steal my joy but he will steal my hope, peace, and trust in God. Joy is just the beginning.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:2
You see any of us have a choice on a daily basis to respond in joy. In fact, Jesus himself faced the cross with joy. How is that possible? There was pain, suffering, and abandonment with that cross. The sins of you and I were placed on Jesus. Jesus became the one time sacrifice for our sins. It wasn’t the pain or the suffering that Jesus was focused on. He was focused on eternity and what this sacrifice would bring you and I. Joy filled Jesus because He saw that His sacrifice would give you and I an opportunity to be right with God. We get to experience Heaven and all that God offers because Jesus chose to die in our place. I rejoice in that daily! Thank you Jesus for paying my debt on calvary’s hill.
Joy is not based on how we feel, that’s happiness! Happiness is fleeting at best. Some days we feel happy and some days we don’t. Happiness depends on the circumstances we are facing. Joy doesn’t! Joy is dependent on the fact that God is still on the throne no matter how many curve balls life throws our way. It’s keeping our eyes fixed on the One who has gone before us. The one who paid the penalty of our sins! Unfortunately, no one can choose joy for you. It’s a choice that you have to make for yourself. I can’t force it on you any more than I can force you to take the free gift of salvation. Joy is your choice! Every morning that you wake up you have an opportunity to start fresh, to fix your eyes on what matters, and to find joy in Jesus!
God loves you! That’s enough right there to find joy in! God will never leave you or forsake you. This is a promise He has made to you and He will never go back on His promises. You can count on God! When the going gets tough, God will be there. When you don’t have enough strength to take the next step, God will help you. When everything seems hopeless, set your eyes on Jesus and let Him restore your joy. Joy is yours, it’s mine and I choose to daily be joyful in the Lord! I will not let circumstances dictate how I feel. I will not give in to the difficult times that Satan throws my way. I will not give up and I will not stop fighting. God has a purpose in all things. Another promise we can cling to. When life gets hard find joy in this promise…
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
I pray that this book will be an encouragement to you and that you will learn how to choose JOY daily. Please let me know if you have read the book. I would love to hear your thoughts and how God has used this in your life.
Dear Father God, I give this book right back to you. You are the one who put it on my heart to even write about and it was You who gave me the words to write. I’m nothing without you! This book is a testimony of who You are and all that You continue to be in my life. I pray that the words in this book will glorify You and restore joy to your people. May we be a people who have our eyes fixed on the eternal prize. May our joy be in Jesus and may we daily move forward in Your grace! Thank you Lord!