Another Lenten read was Kay Warren’s Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough. Below are some thoughts:
“The story of your life is the story of a long and brutal assault on your heart by those who know what you could be and fears it.” – John Eldredge
Joy is a choice. The level of joy you experience is completely and totally up to you. At the end of your days, the amount of joy you’ve experienced is the exact amount of joy you choose to experience. God created you to be joyful, and also left the decision to access the joy up to you.
People assume they can have joy or sorrow. They do not think they can have joy in sorrow. People need to see joy and sorrow as parallel tracks (like train tracks), going side by side together. If they are on the sorrow track, they just need to choose the joy track.
Joy and sorrow tracks are linked. It is a sign of spiritual maturity to learn how to live on both tracks at the same time. To help you remember this, remember this definition of joy:
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life; the quiet assurance that everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.
Choosing to believe that God is always working, knitting together the fragments of our lives, allows us to let go of fear, anxiety, depression, etc. To be spiritually mature is to have passed the tests, trials, and troubles of life. An untested faith is an unreliable faith.
“The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy.” – Jim Rohn
How do we mature? What we think determines how we act, and how we act determines how we feel. “You can’t feel your way into an action, but you can act your way into a feeling.” It’s that simple.
Cite: Warren, K. (2012). CHOOSE JOY: Because Happiness isn’t Enough. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Inc.