Choosing joy… even when everything in me fights against it!

We have had a really tough time recently and although we have also had lots of blessings too life is pretty stressful for a whole number of reasons. In particular we are waiting on several life-puzzle pieces to come together to be able to take action and move forward. I am not the best at waiting and to be honest, I am way past the point of my own patience and I am currently totally reliant on God’s strength to be able to continue waiting. This memory verse has helped me a lot recently: “Wait on the Lord, Be of good courage and He will strengthen thine heart, Wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Nevertheless, over the last day I have still reached a pretty low point – falling back into frustration and worrying and feeing very down AND then beating myself up for worrying and my lack of faith and trust. I was thinking about what to write in my blog post and wondering how I was going to encourage anyone today?!

However, as I considered what to write, I found some notes I had made from a Sally Clarkson podcast that I listened to back in February. Through these God reminded me that choosing joy is a first and foremost a DAILY choice – in fact it is a moment by moment choice, choosing to find something to be thankful for, even if everything in us fights against it…

Secondly it is about having GRACE both for ourselves and those around us. It is easy to become the accuser to ourselves and others, but the Holy Spirit convicts of specific issues, He leaves us feeling forgiven and ready for a second chance, not guilty and condemned.

Finally, it is about choosing CONNECTION with God, over dejection with our lives/ the world around us. We must daily remind ourselves that God is with us in the trenches – He longs for us to experience that connection with Him, which we can only find by choosing to have that prayer connection by faith and choosing joy in Him. And let me be frank here, that connection allows us to be honest – brutally so, with God, when we need to be. We can pour out our hearts to Him and then leave it with Him and not have to keep thinking about it.

I feel invigorated again to remember that God intended for us to live in freedom and abundance, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. We will fail – but we can choose to use these as learning opportunities and get up and try again. So today, I choose joy and I hope I have encouraged you as much as I have encouraged myself to also choose joy too! 😀

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