Originally published Monday, 23 February 2015.
Wherever you are today, choose joy. Whether things are going great or tough, make the conscious choice to choose joy. And please note that joy is not just a happy expression. Instead, it’s something that comes from deep within. It’s also something that’s supernatural.
If you’re having a great day, it’s a little easier to express joy, isn’t it? You can put on a smile, laugh easily, and just have a spectacular day. But what about when things are not so great. What about when your circumstances are really rough, or when people rub you the wrong way, or if you’re sick or get a bad phone call? That’s when joy becomes something that you have to reach out for, because it may seem like the farthest thing from your mind.
I just recently had a situation happen to me when I got a phone call that revealed some bad news. Now, before I picked up the phone, I was standing in the mirror combing my hair and getting ready for a normal day. But as I picked up the phone and heard the voice on the other end, I began to pray and ask the Lord for a good end result. And as the person spoke to me, as I prayed, the results were not good. So I had a choice to make after I hung up the phone.
Initially, I wanted to cry. I wanted to hang my head low. An array of emotions were beginning to stir up inside of me. BUT…that’s when the Holy Spirit quickened me and reminded me of what James 1:2-4 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” (NLT)
You see, after getting that bad news, I had a choice to make. I could’ve chosen to mope around and be sad or upset all day. Because no doubt, it was very disheartening and disappointing. Yet, I made the conscious decision to choose joy. And again, it was supernatural. Remember, it was the Holy Spirit who reminded me of the Scripture, not myself.
It was at that moment, I realized that I wasn’t in control over the situation. God had ultimate control. And there was nothing I could do to change the outcome. But what I could control, was the way I responded to it. I knew that after hearing the Bible verse in my spirit that I had to kick into another gear. I had to own that Word. I had to decide that I was NOT going to allow that phone call and reality in my life to ruin my day. I had to choose to be joyful and go on with my day in spite of my circumstance, and believe that God was going to help me through it.
The Word tells us to count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations (meaning various trials). That’s what the King James Version of James 1:2-4 says. And this doesn’t mean that you have to go around laughing and smiling or faking happiness. Because when hard things hit, it does hurt and sometimes you do have to cry. We are human. But what God is saying through this verse is that He wants us to see the bigger picture. He’s doing something greater through it that we can’t see.
He’s building character. He’s making us stronger. He’s building endurance. He’s increasing our faith. He’s growing us up. And He’s creating a testimony of hope for us and others.
So when things go wrong in your life or when your day just isn’t the best, that’s when you have to kick into another gear and choose joy. That’s when you have to say, “It’s okay. God knows best. He knows what He’s doing.” And it’s also okay to pray for strength or even cry. But the key is knowing that you can’t stay there. You’ve got to pick your head up and choose to change your mindset (the way you’re thinking about the situation), and be joyful.
Now, it doesn’t mean that you don’t deal with the situation. It just means that you have a different outlook and mindset about it. A joyless woman has a lot on her mind. She ponders on the negative or hurtful things, instead of refocusing her mind on the positive things or God’s holy Word. Don’t allow the situation to make you go crazy, act out of character, or cause you to lose faith.
Let God help you to have joy and hold onto this Word for you today…“You love him even though you have never seen him; Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9 NLT)
Own this Word today. Continue to trust Him. And know that no matter what’s happening or going to happen in your life, that God is there with you. Choose joy.
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
P.S. Join me for my next call on “Let’s Talk” where I’ll be talking about “Becoming a Woman that God Can Use.” You don’t want to miss this talk on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 @ 8:30pm (CST)! (Call # 567-704-2763, Code: 12345#). I’ll be talking more about the tools you’ll need to do what God has called you to do! More details to come on www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org! SAVE THE DATE!!!
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