Saturday, March 19, 2011

Choose Joy

I follow a blog called Gitzen Girl. The author Sarah suffers from a chronic illness which has caused her to basically be completely home-bound for the past few years. She experiences things on a daily basis that I can't even imagine.

But she inspires me so much.

The sub-heading of her blog is CHOOSE JOY.

In the midst of pain and suffering, she reminds herself and others to choose joy.

Pretty incredible, isn't it?

At the beginning of the year, she encouraged her readers to choose a word for the year. It's something she's done for a couple of years now, and she chooses a word that she wants to focus on for the entire year.

Her word this year? Praise.

In spite of everything that she suffers through, she wants to focus on praising God with her life.

So, I started thinking about my word for this year. Several immediately stood out ... faith, hope, joy, freedom, peace, thanksgiving, love, discipline, intentionality. All with such deep meaning for my walk with the Lord and the way I live my life.

But the one that really stood out for me ... in this season of my life ... is JOY.


Dictionary.com defines joy like this ...
"the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation"

It's easy to be happy or feel joyful when things are going wonderfully. But it's harder ... sometimes it seems impossible ... to know joy when things are difficult, when we're in the midst of a trial or a period of suffering.

Joy is more than happiness. It's deeper than that. It comes from knowing Christ.

And when you think of it like that and look back at the definition above, joy is caused by something "exceptionally good or satisfying." What is more good or satisfying than Christ?! (That's terrible grammar, I know, but I'm making a point here.)

Nothing.

Nothing is better than Christ.

Nothing gives more satisfaction than knowing Christ.

So I pray that over the next 12 months (and the rest of my life), my joy will come from Christ ... knowing Christ ... my relationship with Him ... and my satisfaction in Him.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

Is there a word that you want to focus on this year?

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