We all have a choice. We can live life by design or live by default. In other words, we can embrace Ben Franklin’s quote, “Joy doesn’t exist in the world, it exists in us.” Yes…we can choose JOY!
I self-talk and talk to our kids as well as tell the people I mentor, “It is not so much what happens to us but it is what we choose to do after.” How we look at it, embrace it and the attitude we take towards it makes a difference. Too many times we allow our circumstances or others to “ROB” us of our joy! JOY, I can say for sure in the Back 9, is something we choose. It happens within. It is not dependent on our circumstances.
It has taken me a while to understand and “choose” JOY. Joy starts with understanding who God is and how much He loves us. It is grasping that He has us. He can and will fill us with His love, peace, and reassurance every day…..it doesn’t mean we are not sad, or that we don’t experience loss, or trials or adversity in our lives, but an abiding relationship with Christ….is the LIGHT in the darkest of times.
Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” God gives joy and hope. He is the source of real confidence. He is always in control. Nothing takes him by surprise. Often times when I recognize that I don’t have joy, I realize it is because I have failed to remember that even though things are hard, tough, painful….that yes, He hasn’t moved….BUT He is there, He is aware, He is in control….nothing shocks or dismays Him…. It is in those times when I lack understanding (human understanding), that He MOST desires for me turn to Him to receive what He FREELY wants to give. He wants to give JOY. It is a gift from HIM.
Joy and happiness are two very different things….happiness comes and goes. It is based on circumstances….
We are happy when we win and we are sad when we lose…..Joy is the thankfulness that we had the health to play the game!
Happiness is the birth of a baby….sadness and heartache are when we lose a loved one…..
Joy is the assurance that there is a heaven and an eternal place reserved for those who love Jesus. John 14:3, “And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you can also may be where I am.”
Joy is a choice…what I have found is that it is a daily recognition of God being in control and I am not, a surrendering to Him of my life and my will. 1 Peter 1:8-9, “Though you have not seen him, you love him, though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with JOY that is inexpressible and filled with glory obtaining the outcome of your faith so that our joy may be complete.” [emphasis mine]
True Joy…is knowing Christ. It is a free gift. It is choosing to invite Him into your heart and life and surrendering your life to Him. We gain power that only He can give! Then and only then can you know JOY even in the most difficult, dark places!