A Poor Trade
I often find that I have replaced the spiritual discipline of Joy. I have traded it in for worry, control, bitterness, sarcasm, criticism, an doubt. That seems like a stupid trade when I write it down on paper but the reality is that I make that trade too often for me to count.
A Repeated Truth
The Bible says a lot about joy. It is mentioned over 180 times throughout its pages. It is mentioned as being a gift from God, as being our strength, as being a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and as something that God fills us with in his presence. It is the result that comes from being a part of a community of God and the key to overcoming life’s trials and setbacks.
More Than a Feeling
It is different from happiness. It is not circumstantial or based on emotional response. It is not fleeting nor flimsy. It is a spiritual discipline. It is a choice and a act of devotion The Bible describes it as a solid foundational principle that we can build our lives upon.
Worth the Fight
Its worth fighting to maintain. I know that may seem like a paradox, fighting for joy, but I think the fight is worthwhile. Over the past week I have begun to make a conscious effort to realize when I am making the foolish trade of the Joy of the Lord for some cheap knock-off of my own design.
When I realize that I am choosing to walk away from the Joy, I begin to fight. I force myself to reflect on the blessings of God in my life. I recount all the times in my life when God has shown up in real and powerful ways. I think about how his love. I think about how he has changed my heart. I reflect on his mercy and never-ending grace. I fight back my own selfishness and pride and allow the gentle truth of God back in . . . I once again find Joy.
Join me in this fight for Joy . . . Its worth it.