For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17
I am not usually a glass half full type of gal. Rain puts me in the worst of moods, and I can at times have quite the self-defeatist attitude.
These are also areas I have been asking God to help me overcome. Asking Him to help me see each day and situation in a more positive light.
So, of course the devil sneaks in to tempt me into using my words as piercing swords. To turn my mood into something as dark as the clouds outside. To try his hardest to steal my joy.
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. John 10:10
And, I can let him, or I can take Paul’s advice in Galatians 5:22 and show the joy that is part of God’s spirit in me.
This thought makes me examine a few things. Do I let others determine how happy I am? Do I let my circumstances destroy my faith in God’s promises? Am I a beacon of joy that will bring others to Christ? Or a ball of negative energy that will cause them to turn away?
I had someone ask me recently if I was having a good day. I responded in truth, admitting that the morning had been a bit rough. After staying up into the wee hours of the morning to complete an assignment, and entertain two giggly girls over for a birthday sleepover, my exhaustion certainly made me want to feel anything but joy! I was tired, and I was pretty sure it was written all over my face.
“Yet, you are still smiling!” was the response. And yes, I do…I smile through a lot of the pain and sorrow that makes up this life.
Why not? What’s the alternative? To grumble? To complain? To curse my circumstances and the God who allowed them?
Do these actions keep life from happening? Messes from growing?
Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5
Sure, I can choose to respond negatively, or I can choose to rejoice in the God who promises joy each morning.
I can be the example of Christ, “who for the joy set before him endured the cross,” and live out this same kind of joy in the midst of my own suffering.
I can rest in the promise that no money, no bigger house, no job, no pursuit of worldly happiness will ever come close to the joy that comes from God’s spirit living in me, or his promises for me.
So, you can have the rest-the money, the house, the world. I’ll keep my joy, thank you!