October 21, 2015

31 Days of Truths... Choose Joy - DAY TWENTY ONE

I think so many of the important Truths that we forget stem really on the fact that we have been given the power of choice! 

We already talked about how we have can choose to trust, but I think another important Truth that we forget is that we can choose joy, as well.

I was talking the other day with a friend and we were wondering out loud what in the world God was doing giving us free choice! I mean, gah! We choose poorly, or don't choose at all, more often than we make stellar decisions. Still... we have a King who loves us freely, and desires the best for us, but He will not force Himself or the gifts that He bestowed upon us!

We get to choose.

Choose Joy...


For it is the
Kingdom of God!

 "...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:17 NASB 
"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Psalm 16:11 NASB

I know... Honestly, I do.

I get that simply saying, "Choose Joy!" can come across like simply saying, "Just be Happy!"

I know how often it feels as if we have no choice... no control... no ability to snap out of it or just change our moods. I never want to offend or make anyone feel like I don't know firsthand the battle with depression or a shroud of hopelessness.

But I think we would do well to remember that happiness and joyfulness are not the same things. 

Webster's defines Happiness like this:
"good fortune :  prosperity

a state of well-being and contentment :  joy

a pleasurable or satisfying experience"

And Joy is defined as:
"the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires
:  delight
a source or cause of delight" 

I have heard it explained that happiness happens to you, but joy comes from you --or more accurately, from God.  When we are low on Joy... we've already been told where to go! It's in His Presence that we find fullness of Joy!

Kay Warren defines joy in her book, Choose Joy, Because Happiness Isn't Enough, like this:
"Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.
You’ll find nothing in that definition about happy feelings, because, as we all know, happiness is fleeting and temporary."

I remember sitting off by myself under a covering of branches after spending some time with several great friends.  We had all sat together and shared real life... all being brave and authentic... and it was wonderful!

However, it didn't take long for me to begin to feel less than, although they never would have wanted that.  They are super talented, and bold in their openness and struggles and I began to feel that the Joy that I carry seemed shallow and surface. I began to feel unworthy and fake, even though I was not hiding or pretending whatsoever. 

I have shared often how God has changed my bent and given me a gift of faith.  My disposition, now, is one of joy. 

You know how Jen Hatmaker talks of people who are sweet and people who are spicy? Yeah... I'd like to think I am a bit of both, but if I had to choose... I would choose sweet

It's how He made me!

In fact, He (re)assured me of that very thing while I was off on my own under that canopy of trees.

I quieted myself... hushed my soul... and I asked Him flat out:
"Lord, what do you have for me here... besides a bit of retreat? Besides a bit of impartation? Besides a bit of deeper connection?"
Immediately, He answered as I wrote:
"I have Rest -to take with you.
I have sunshine and breezes and white rocking chairs on front porch talks that will slowly linger, sink in, take root.
I have surprises that you won't yet discover for months, maybe longer, but you will be able to count back to now!
I have Quiet and yet not Silence.
I have Joy and yet not Shallow.
Yes. That." He said.
"I have Truth that the way I made you is Joy - but it is not shallow! Do not believe that lie!
You are meant to be contagious... to be light... in both senses of the word!  You are meant to be love, to be joy. to be you! You are meant to be a gift... to be an encouragement... to be an artist, a dreamer, a friend.
So go... create art in every way you can, and dream big (--it will never be big enough!), and be a friend to all who hunger for truth and art and dreams!"
I believe this promise and this invitation is for you, too!
Maybe you are more spicy than sweet, or more Eeyore than Tigger, but you are offered the same Spirit, and the same gifts of the Spirit... You are invited in to the Kingdom and you have been given the power of choice!

Does this mean everything will be perfect and happy-clappy? Does this mean that you ignore or pretend... of course not.  

It does mean that in the midst of difficult seasons and challenges, we may not be happy - but we can tap into what is already inside of us!

I believe He has already poured out His Spirit and given us the keys to the kingdom.


The Kingdom of God is here... and it is Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost! 

We've already been given the Kingdom
     ...It's just that sometimes we forget!








 Today is Day Twenty One of 31 Days of Truths We Know...! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Home page' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!

Click to Tweet:
The Kingdom of God is here. It's Righteousness, Peace, & Joy in the Holy Ghost! It's just that sometimes we forget! @KarrileeA #Write31Days

"When we are low on Joy... we've already been told where to go! It's in His Presence that we find fullness of Joy!" @KarrileeA #Write31Days

P.S.  I'm linking up with these lovely writers:
JENNIFER DUKES LEE FOR #TELLHISSTORY


















HOLLEY GERTH FOR #COFFEEFORYOURHEART



Oh... by the way...

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers (Psst... that's YOU!) who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!



Next up: The Truth of Being In the World... but not of it (and how we so often forget how we tend to switch that around!)

10 comments :

  1. Thank you so much for your post on joy. Needed that today. As I am pulling up painful memories of my journey as a caregiver to begin writing my next book, I found joy diminishing. You've reminded me of my source. For that I thank You.
    Karen

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    1. So grateful for His timing and in how He leads us... and thankful He led you here! Praying for you as you revisit the past that you will feel Him right beside, living within you, and that Joy would remain!

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  2. Choosing JOY. Signed, your spicy friend in NC! ;)

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    1. LOL! I love it! Signed, your sweet and spicy friend in WA! ;)

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  3. I'm definitely more sweet than spicy. This post also causes me to reflect on one of my fave verses: Psalm 30:5 "Weeping may come for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Choosing joy today and every day friend!

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    1. LOL! Right... I like both spicy and sweet and tend to go back and forth... but deep down... I am sweet! I can't help it! So thankful that we can choose joy - despite our circumstances!

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  4. A lesson that I need to be reminded of often. Tha ks for giving me that reminder today. I loved Kay Warren's book and had completely forgotten about it.

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    1. Jo, wasn't that a great definition? I haven't read the whole book yet, but I need to get my hands on it again! I think we ALL need to be reminded of this truth!

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  5. What a lovely post in joy ....love Kay Warren's quote..love how reminded you of how sweet you are, your purpose to inspire, to make art, the depth of your sweetness and preciousness of the gifts He gave you, and your joy!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kathy! I know there are days when it doesn't feel like we have a choice... or we know it but just don't want to choose anyway. But on those days, I believe we fall for the lie that happiness and joy are the same thing! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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