Choose Joy

Things that steal our strength, kill us and shorten our lives include, but not limited to, grief, sadness, sin or iniquity, guilt, shame, fear…

“I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.”

Psalms 31:10 NLT

I don’t believe this verse is meant to discount all the stuff we all go through in life. Yet I think it shows us that if we get stuck in these spaces we will surely die, and miserably too. Reading this verse this morning I am reminded of the importance of choosing joy every day of our lives.

It is a choice we have to choose to make.

Joy | noun

  • Definition: feeling of great pleasure and happiness (thanks Google).

Photo Source

Such a great Instagram quote. Said a different way, when life gives you lemons make lemonade. These simply reinforces the point that life will not be easy. Gosh, we will have pain, fears, frustrations, yet God offers us that we can keep experiencing His joy and heavenly peace even when everything in our lives are upside down.

Indeed, there are so many things that steal our strength and lifespan from us. But this is true only if we let it… Sadly we live in a world that encourages us to live in our truth. The deception of this kind of mindset is that no one really knows what’s true? My confidence in the Word of God found in the Bible is that through history and all of life’s seasons, it remains consistent and relevant. I serve an Amazing God! He is truly faithful as He has said.

“If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny who He is.”

2 Timothy 2:13 NLT
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 NLT

From my understanding, the reason we can stay in a state of peace and happiness even in the midst of chaos is because of the hope the Holy Spirit gives us. Interestingly, joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5: 22-23). I love that. I know we are human and all that but my Lord Jesus told us that we can do greater things than what He did (John 14:12). Because of that I am determined to continue to surrender and let Him refine me as I need, mold me, and sanctify me until all that is left is Him. I want to grow all of the Holy Spirit fruits and I don’t care what it takes to get there. 🙏🏾

I have come so far already. Wow this year showed me the meaning of faithfulness, patience and gentleness. I grew through holding on to joy, love, kindness and goodness even when everything points against those options. Truly, I am expectant for an inspiring, growth inducing, encouraging, uplifting, beautiful and powerful 2021. Lord GOD, I am ready for all You have for me in 2021. I trust Your plans for me are better than my plans for myself. As Your Word says, You plan to prosper me, give me hope and a future, not harm me. Father I pray for more grace, strength and wisdom to navigate every season that is coming in Your Holy Name Lord Jesus I pray, Amen!

Is my life all rosy!?! Haha nope! Far from it. I cannot wait to share more of what I experienced this year if the opportunity arises, but I so grateful (honestly) for all of it. I can confidently say that I am leaving 2020 better than I was at the start. That to me is awesome! #GlorytoGod

I am so grateful to serve a Father and King that doesn’t change based on His feelings. The things He is going through. The time of month or the year. He is faithful. He is consistent.

As life unfolds we need to continually decipher the truths that we believe. Because like it or not, our beliefs shape our lives. I am grateful to God for the freedom journey I have had the opportunity to embark on because it has opened my eyes to a lot of nonsense from the past that had clouded my perceptions of myself and others. How liberating to start to understand how pride works, what it means to love like Christ, how to give His grace freely to myself and others, and what Jesus means when He said He came to give us “Abundant life.”

I am excited because I know I have so much more to uncover, learn, experience and grow through. But I am so grateful for His love for me.


🙌🏾🔥 Other verses on His faithfulness (Sources 1; 2)

  • Psalm 33:4 “For the Word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness.”
  • Psalms‬ ‭91:4 “He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:3The Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.”
  • 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
  • Psalms 119:90Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.”
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
  • Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
  • Numbers 23:19God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
  • Lamentations 3:22-23 “The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  • Romans 8: 38-39 “[NOTHING] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I thank You Lord God for Your faithfulness. Thank You Father for liberating me from the things that have held me back in the past. Thank You for the opportunity to share my journey with others. I thank You for continuing to keep me aligned with my core value of loving You and others in my world passionately and desiring to grow consistently each season of my life. I pray Lord for anyone struggling through things in this season. I pray for peace, His peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray for comfort for you even now. I pray that you experience the perfect peace that only the Holy Spirit can give. I pray that you can find joy even in the midst of the pain, fears, uncertainty… I pray for strength to weather whatever storms of life come. I pray for a strong, firm and faithful heart and mind. And most especially, I pray that you would begin to experience or grow in the depth of your understanding and intimate experience of the love of Jesus. Thank You Lord. In Christ’ Holy Name, I pray, Amen.

Love,

Uju

P.S. celebrating writing this in one sitting this morning Dec 26, 2020. Thank You Lord because I have been tossing around various ideas for December’s first post 😌 #Grateful


Featured image photo source

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