Continued from here.
So, how do we access God’s joy when we are dealing with problems? Let’s face it – we are ALWAYS dealing with problems. If we have to wait for a problem-free season of life to experience God’s joy, then we will never do it. And yet Jesus said,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” ~ John 10:10
Having life “to the full” includes a joyful life. So, how do we access the joy? The simple answer is choice – we choose joy. Unfortunately, just because something is simple does not make it easy.
The only moment I can do anything about in my life is right now. The past has already happened, and the future is not yet here. While I can plan ahead, I still cannot do anything about the future in the present moment because the future has not yet arrived. The only moment I have is now, and right now, I can choose joy.
We choose joy through our thoughts. Right now, at this moment, you are choosing what to think about, and that thought is driving your emotions. Some thoughts cause an instant emotional reaction while others have a delayed reaction. Rest assured that whatever you are feeling right now, in the present moment, is directly related to what you have been thinking about recently. Change what you think, and you’ll change what you feel.
This is one reason Paul told us to hold every thought captive to Christ. This is also why Paul told us this:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ~ Phil. 4:8
When we follow Paul’s advice to hold every thought captive to Christ and choose to think about “anything that is excellent or praiseworthy,” we choose joy.
[Graphic: Cartoon headshot of Grace smiling. Courtesy Bitmoji.]