Choose Joy! (January)

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by Laura L.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
{2 Corinthians 4:17-18}

A gray, dreary day...or was it my outlook? In the fourth chapter of 2 Corinthians, we see that in spite of struggle and failure in us and around us, we can find joy and it does not come from ourselves or surroundings…it comes from the Lord.

By God’s mercy, we were granted the blessed gift of walking with God in His presence each day. Because of this fact alone, we can rejoice and live cheerfully every moment. Even the moment that when your family gets a flat tire and everyone is hungry and some are complaining. Ever had those moments where you just didn’t think surely you had to be joyful, and that it is ok to be grouchy?

God does not want His children living like this. When life is stressful and you feel like flying off the handle, consider this. In the light of eternity, how much does this current petty stress matter? Wouldn’t it be better in eternity to have been cheerful, trusting the Lord, rather than grouchy?

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“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
{2 Corinthians 4:6-7}

What is this treasure we are given to carry about in these earthen vessels (our bodies)? It is the light to shine on our path, that comes from our knowledge of God’s glory that we see in Jesus. We have this treasure in prone-to-failure vessels—when we realize this light and it brings victory and power in our daily reactions to life’s circumstances, and it will only bring glory to God.

In Titus 3:1, Paul instructs Titus on how to admonish and instruct Christians on this very subject of choosing joy in all circumstances.

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”

Why? “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” (Titus 3:3-6)

It is Scriptural to seriously consider our relationships and dealings with others. In these few verses we are admonished to give respect. We are to have willing, servant hearts on the lookout or people to serve. A life free from gossip and vehement ordering with a gentle, kind, considerate outlook. In these verses is tucked a very key ingredient to remaining joyful in life. It is realizing who we really are, and who God is and what He is doing for us, and our responsibility to be a light for Jesus. On our own power, we cannot do this.

Remember we are dusty vessels – but through Christ’s redeeming work in our lives and by His power, we can overcome and live victoriously.

Let us be joyful at all times! God is our joy and our strength!

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
{Philippians 4:4}

-Guestpost by Laura L.