Monday, October 22, 2012

Finding Joy in not Just the Good but the Bad and the Ugly Too!

It is easy to find joy in the simplicity and beauty of life. Although finding joy during these times is easy it is also dangerous. Dangerous because it is less of a conscious choice and more of a simple response to circumstances. Don't get me wrong. There are definitely times when we can pause and revel in the beauty of creation. Or have joy in the ease of pleasant circumstances. Who doesn't love a break? But can we consider ourselves practiced in joy if we face ease of life? Another question would be why do we need to practice joy? Isn't joy a happy state? A feeling of Happiness? Well I asked myself these questions when faced with some not so joyful circumstances. How can I find joy when facing trials of many kinds. Well I am not a Bible scholar and I am definitely not as knowledgeable and researched as I wish I was. But I do know the fruit of the Spirit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-control. Okay so what in the world does one have to do with the other? Well the more that I thought about the fruit of the spirit the more I realized the fruit is not born in feeling form. It is not an emotion that suddenly comes over us. It is a choice at a state of mind. Through learning God's word and keeping His word in our heart we are opening up for growth from the Spirit. The Spirit produces Fruit. The fruit is choosing our mindset, setting it on things above or on life's circumstance. So back to the joy. Is Joy a feeling? Initially no. When going through life's everyday struggles and the circumstances of life I can choose joy, while not feeling "happy".  I can choose in the midst of being unhappy to rest in the fact that God is ultimately in control and does in fact love me. He also Chose me as his child. As I rest in this daily choosing I begin to have a contentment that surpasses what happiness could ever bring. I have Joy that these circumstances, the crap life brings, the bad and the ugly, they too shall pass. I have Joy that this life is not as good as it gets.