It’s the motto that has been in my life for the better part of 2016. Ever since I came across this phrase, I loved it.
And I came to realize how difficult living it out really is.
Ann Voskamp says about joy in her book, The Greatest Gift: “Joy is a function of gratitude, and gratitude is a function of perspective. You only begin to change your life when you begin to change the way you see.”
Choosing joy begins with a change of perspective and the way that you look at things.
This change of perspective, I found, is something that can be applied whether in school, at work, or a social event. Don’t you find that when your outlook on a situation changes, everything just goes so much better?
The source of this joy comes ultimately from Christ. When the angel visits the shepherds when Jesus is born, he tells them: “…behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people” (Luke 2:10 ESV). When Christ comes down to earth as a baby, this is something that should cause all the people to rejoice! Immanuel, the long-awaited Messiah, has arrived, bringing deliverance for all of humankind.
Christ bears this gift of joy that everyone should be able to participate in. By knowing Christ, the joy should just well up inside of you.
James 1:2 ESV also says, “Count it ALL JOY, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”
Every situation, whether the good or the bad, it is important to thinking about choosing joy in all situations.
So this season, and all year long, will you join me in making the conscious effort to choose joy?