You will keep in perfect peace, all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!4 Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT)
Sharing some tidbits of my story on Instagram sparked lots of questions about how I defeated anxiety.
The answer may sound too simple but here it goes…I CHOOSE JOY! When life gets hard, I choose joy. When the enemy strikes, I choose joy. When God tests me, I choose joy. When I don’t know what’s waiting around the bend, I choose to TRUST Him and I choose joy.
A few years ago I learned there is a difference between emotional happiness (favored by luck or fortune – Merriam Webster Dictionary) and having joy. After doing some digging I discovered that joy comes from God; it is a fruit of The Spirit and IS NOT contingent or subject to our human circumstances. God is the source of my joy and He alone fills me with joy.
From the Old Testament to the New Testament JOY has little to do with what people do and everything to do with God. He is the source, the giver and the reason for joy.
- Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (We find joy in the presence of God).
- Psalm 4:7 You have put more joy in my heart. (God is the giver of joy).
- Isaiah 29:19 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
(Joy doesn’t expire or get old, God gives fresh joy; it is found IN HIM)
- Luke 15:10 …there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Angels, who are in the presence of God continually, experience joy over the one who repents. What an incredibly vivid picture.
- John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (In John 15:1-10 Jesus gives us clear instruction; if we abide in Him and in His words we will be filled with His joy and our joy will be complete).
Since I started choosing joy I’ve learned to be silly again, to laugh at myself and to allow the joy of The Lord to be my strength (Nehemiah 8:10)! When life gets hard, when my circumstances are painful, when my heart is aching, and my mind is swirling I don’t put on a happy face or fake it ’til I make it.
Instead, I get in God’s presence, I cast my cares at His feet, I remind myself there is nothing too hard for Him and, as I recalibrate my thoughts, my joy is made new. He fills me over and over and over again.
Now you know my secret…I #CHOOSEJOY.
TRY IT. JOIN ME. CHOOSE JOY TODAY!
Praying Romans 15:13 over you today.
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.
Learning and sharing as I journey to KNOW, REFLECT and surrender to Him,