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24
Oct
2021

Choosing Joy

by Lisa Osteen Comes

Most of the time, our attitude is a decision we make, and sometimes we need an attitude adjustment. Just like we may tell our children, we may have to tell ourselves, “Lose the attitude!” or “Watch the attitude!”

Of course, this does not mean that you will wake up happy all the time. No, most of the time I wake up groggy. I am hitting the snooze button. I am reaching for my coffee.

There are some people who do wake up happy—like my husband. When Kevin wakes us, he is wide awake, happy, and energetic. Not me! I am still walking around the house with my eyes shut, feeling my way around. It’s in these early-morning moments just upon waking that your mind can be bombarded with negative thoughts. So before you get out of bed, you can make some decisions to put your focus on what you can be glad and thankful about.

I have made it a practice to talk to the Lord before I even get out of bed in the morning. I express my love and appreciation to him. I always point out the things I am grateful for because I want to start my day with a thankful heart even though I may be facing some difficult situations.

Choosing joy in the midst of worry, discouragement, and fear is not always easy. If we allow our circumstances and what people do or say to us to dictate our emotions, we could be sad and down all the time. I am not saying that there won’t be times of sadness and sorrow in our lives. What I am saying is that life has a tendency to pull us down on an everyday basis if we are not careful to guard our attitude and atmosphere. We can have joy even in the valleys of life.

I think sometimes we get in a rut of thinking, When I get through this trial, I will be happy and at peace. When my child starts serving God, I will be joyful. How about being joyful now? How about enjoying your life and all the blessings you have now?

After living through my own trials, I decided to study what the Bible has to say about joy. In the Hebrew language, joy means “cheerfulness, gladness, and a calm delight.” That’s a lot different than happiness, which is based solely on your happenings or circumstances. The joy of the Lord is an inner joy, a calm delight that only comes from trusting God. We may not be happy with what we’re going through, but we can walk in the joy God gives us in the meantime.

 Jesus modeled this so well for us. The Bible says that he was full of joy through the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21). And every person Jesus touched became joyful, including the disciples. Acts 13:52 says that they too were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. They had hardships like we do. They were persecuted because they served Jesus. But they had the joy of the Lord, and they spread that joy wherever they went.

It’s important to understand that being a Christian isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t mean you have to be somber all the time. The kingdom of God, which we have been translated into, is all about joy and peace and being in right standing with God. You see, God delivered us from the kingdom of darkness into a kingdom of joy, as it says in Romans 14:17: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus carried our griefs and pain on the cross so that we could walk in his joy and live an abundant life. He promised to turn our sorrow into dancing and our mourning into joy!

 

Lisa Osteen Comes recently appeared on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from It’s On The Way by Lisa Osteen Comes. Copyright ©2021 by Lisa Osteen Comes. Published by FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group. Used by permission.