Choose Joy

Over the weekend I stumbled upon a fantastic community of bloggers via Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup. As I began surfing various blogs and reading through some really fantastic submissions, I found myself filled with emotion.

I was inspired.

I was challenged.

I was filled with joy.

I noticed how eloquently everyone seemed to write. It was as if I were reading lyrics to a song or poetry. There were heart tugging punch lines, and perfectly captured photos to compliment each entry’s theme.

I’m sure most of you have heard the quote attributed to Teddy Roosevelt that says:

“Comparison is the thief of Joy.”

I found myself thinking on that quote. The Holy Spirit was trying to tell me something…  I was getting tripped up in the comparison trap!

Have you ever been there?  Usually it starts with a thought like this:

“If only ___ were different in my life, I would be happier.”

The problem with this train of thought is that it births discontentment. Instead of being thankful for the unique person each of us are in Christ, the temptation becomes the clay questioning the potter (Isaiah 45:9-10).

Something the Lord has revealed to me over the last few months is that I will never find Joy in a change of circumstance. The only way to authentic, lasting Joy is through a change of heart.

So how do we go about applying this Truth? How can we have joy in our walk with God, regardless of circumstance?

We must first trust in Him

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3).”

God is our source of Joy

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).”

Joy is  a fruit of the Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23.)”

God made us unique & for a purpose

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you (Jeremiah 1:5a).”

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well (Psalms 139:14).”

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).”

Joy is possible when we are secure in the Lord and it overflows when we have a thankful heart. Let us Praise the one who made us, for the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Lord, forgive me for the times I question your perfect design. Remind me to look only to You for my worth and purpose in life. Let me fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my Faith. In Jesus name, Amen.

14 thoughts on “Choose Joy”

  1. Amen! Amen! Amen! We each have our own race marked out before us. It is unique.
    I feel similar to you at times; I have to check myself (before I wreck myself). Ha! It is such an easy trap to fall into.
    Blessings to you for confronting this head on. God will reward that. I so love that you are part of the #RaRalinkup with Purposeful Faith. Thank you for your authenticity.

  2. I sometimes struggle with comparison. It is an easy trap to fall into. I’m working on my own post about comparison, as I think it’s a common problem that many women (and even men) can relate to. I enjoyed reading your perspective!

    1. I agree, Laura. It seems to be a way the enemy trips a lot of us up. Praise God for His patience & grace! Looking forward to your post. Feel free to comment later with the link when it’s ready, if you’d like. I’m sure it would be a blessing to many. 🙂

  3. “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

    Thank you for that reminder. God has really been convicting me about this lately. And I am seeing how social media can be used as a team builder or body breaker. How I use and absorb it is up to me.

    1. You are absolutely right Mary! Social media def has it’s pros and cons. One big “pro” in this case is that it was the means for our connection. I am grateful for that! 🙂 Praying The Lord continues to use you to bless those around you.

  4. Tina, I have been there so many times. It truly is a battle, but I choose joy! We are each unique and when we put our focus on him and his glory, it becomes easier to move forward without falling into that comparison trap. Or so I’m learning. 😉 Thanks so much for sharing your words. This topic is so important!

  5. It is SO hard to not get caught up in the comparison game, especially in the age of social media and as a mom and wife. Everyone’s lives seem “perfect” from the outside, it can be hard to not yearn for that.

    But, I love what you said, “The only way to authentic, lasting Joy is through a change of heart.” The Lord changed my heart almost 10 years ago and I’ve never been the same! I’m thankful that He sees each one of us uniquely and gives us each unique lives and stories for His honor and glory alone!

    Thanks for linking up with Grace & Truth! I hope you’ll join us again this week!

    Christie
    http://www.satisfactionthroughchrist.com

    1. Praise God for the work He has done in your life Christie! I can’t wait to look back on a decade of knowing Him to see all that He’s done in and through me for His glory. I’m so glad I was able to connect with you and others through Grace & Truth. Looking forward to getting to know more of the community this week. 🙂

  6. You must not have read my blog, because I’m a rookie and not very eloquent or graceful! Haha!!
    I compare, too, and find myself wishing I were any number of talented bloggers out there, touching thousands and thousands of hearts. God reminded me to focus on pleasing Him. And if my words touch just ONE heart, then that is enough.
    This is a great post! Thanks for sharing!
    (I found you on the RaRaLinkup!)

    1. Rookie or not, Dana, you are doing the work of The Lord by encouraging other moms out there and sharing your faith. I love how real you are with your writing (your house sounds a lot like mine with all the pets on top of the kiddos, hehehe). I am so blessed by you! Don’t allow the enemy to discourage you. Continue to write for Him, regardless of the number of followers you have. Our Father always “multiplies the fish” in His perfect timing. Blessings to you!

  7. Jenni here again! ; ) I have struggled with comparison also as I embark on this writing career. I keep trying to remind myself not to compare my first chapter to someone else’s fifteenth chapter as I look at all they have accomplished and all I haven’t gotten done. I love your posts and all the scripture you include. God is speaking to my heart through your words. Thank you for sharing!
    Jenni

    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting, Jenni! I praise God for using the struggle as an opportunity to grow and draw near to Him for strength. He is so good! It brings joy to know The Lord is using this broken vessel to bring him glory. Be blessed!

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