17 MayChoose Joy

There’s no question that the good things of God are available to us at all times; they belong to us, as a part of our inheritance.  However…they are not automatic.   And if you’ve ever wondered why something didn’t “just happen”, it’s because nothing “just happens”.  It’s there, yes.  It’s yours, yes.  But there is something you must do to bring it into fulfillment in your life.  You must choose.

The blessing of a joy-filled life is no exception.  We must choose joy.  Let me give you an example from my own life:  Lying in bed early one morning, barely awake, I began to sense this heaviness and dread trying to come over me and my thoughts–all before I had put one foot on the floor! (Can anybody relate?)  Thankfully, I knew enough to recognize that it was the enemy trying to push his agenda on my life for that day, and I refused to play along.  I resisted that spirit (James 4:7) and the oppression and heaviness it was trying to bring left my presence.

Then a wonderful thing happened!  Psalm 30:5 flooded my heart. “…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” In those moments, God allowed me to see that joy shows up to greet me each day–to accompany me throughout my day–but I have to choose it.  It’s there.  It’s available.  It’s rightfully mine.  But it is my choice to actively and consciously receive it and embrace it, rather than the dark, oppressive, depressive, sad, or otherwise evil, forces that the enemy may try to bring into my life.  Well, thank God, I chose joy that day.  And although that was years ago, I continue to choose joy–and especially when the enemy tries to attack.

Now to be clear, joy is not happiness.  Happiness depends largely on what happens, but joy is a fruit of our reborn spirits (Galatians 5:22).  It’s a spiritual force!  And like the other fruit of the spirit, it has been deposited into our hearts so that we can live godly, victorious lives in Christ Jesus. In fact, the Scripture reveals that the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10.)

Maybe you’ve never thought much about joy and its importance in your day -to-day life, but if we “do the math”, spiritually speaking, we’ll quickly see that our joy is invaluable and can’t afford to be neglected.  Why do I say this?  Because our joy is our strength.  And if we don’t have strength, we’ll be weak.  And if we’re weak, we can’t resist the devil.  And if we don’t resist the devil, he won’t flee from us.  And if he doesn’t flee, we won’t win–i.e. we lose.

So now that we know that we have to choose joy, and we know what it is (versus what it isn’t), I want to show you where and how you will find the joy you need.  The answer is found in James 1:2,3.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers tempations; Knowing this….”.

Our joy comes from what we know!  When we know what God has said about our lives and our circumstances, we can have joy knowing that His Word will prevail!  Remember my example from above?  It was what I knew from God’s Word (James 4:7; Psalm 30:5) that enabled me to be strong and choose joy and resist the devil and go free from his attack.

Choose to believe what you know to be true from God’s Word no matter what it may look or feel like in your life.  Choose to have joy–and win every time!



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