Maybe you feel it too?
A heaviness from life’s struggles and unmet expectations covers me like a weighted blanket. Residue from hurt and pain over the past year lingers and makes a case for me to climb up under the covers and never come out. I’m tired. And maybe a little sad. And admitting it only seems to add shame to the mix.
But I also have joy. Not a warm, fuzzy, happy feeling dripping with sentiment, but a settled assurance, a quiet confidence and a determined choice.
Pastor Dave shared a biblical definition of the word joy in his sermon a couple weeks ago. It’s from Kay Warren’s book, “Choose Joy Because Happiness Isn’t Enough.” In it she says 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.” I have gone back to this over and over again during the past couple of weeks.
I grew up believing joy was a feeling. I’m wired in a way in which I feel “all the feels” so joy has been something that somewhat eludes me. And yet the Bible talks about the joy of the Lord being our strength so I felt this inner struggle to be feeling joyful all the time when in reality, I just wasn’t. I was missing something though, I was basing it on a feeling when really it’s a decision. A decision that each of us gets to make.
We all know feelings come and go but joy…
it can remain.
Joy is steadfast, not dependent on any factor other than the decision we make to have it.
Joy doesn’t depend upon my feelings or my circumstances. It won’t leave me today because I’m feeling weary and sad. The characteristics of joy are unmoving, solid, settled & determined. None of these random fluctuating feelings, but instead an anchor for our souls. It’s something we choose not something we feel.
That’s why today, even though I am weary, I will choose joy. As I make that decision my feelings might fall more into line with a happy disposition. And they might not. Regardless, I am reminding myself that God is in control of the details of my life and that ultimately everything is going to be okay because he is my Emmanuel, he is with me. Whatever I go through, whatever life throws at me, he is by my side, walking through it with me. I’m going to praise him in every situation. I’m going to choose joy.
Today I am weary, a little sad and joyful….all at once.