“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit: "that never occurred to me"

Be joyful always...
1 Thessalonians 5:16

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

My pregnancy with Christopher was difficult. Long story... But the last thing you would say about me during my pregnancy was that I was joyful. I actually had a well-meaning Christian woman say to me during that time... "Be joyful, Sheri!" And that was it... essentially... just go, and be joyful! "Oh," I sarcastically thought, "that never occurred to me."

I grew up thinking that love was a feeling. And I thought my feelings were fact. I ended up doing a lot of stupid things based on my feelings. I was relieved when I learned that "love" was actually a choice. Something you can choose to do... In the study Living Beyond Yourself, Beth Moore says that love is a response. Even better. Not easy... takes work... but much better than my roller coaster emotions.

So, it makes me think... what about joy? Could we choose joy? Could joy be a response, too? What if our joy wasn't based on our emotions... What if we really could... just go, and be joyful?


BP said...

I needed this encouragement today! My husband said almost this exact same thing about this choice today.

Tammy said...

I wish I was doing this study with you. I believe joy is a choice...we can be joyful no matter the circumstances and know God has a plan or live in the depths of pain and never see that window God has opened for us even in that pain. Thank you for sharing this encouragement.

Kentucky Bound said...

Thank you once again for aiming your hammer right towards my nail head! Joy is definitely a choice -a choice I've been neglecting lately. I think I should leave sticky notes all over the place reminding me that I am to count it ALL joy.

Blessings and hugs from the creek!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I believe that all emotions are choices Sheri. Joy is one that I think we forget to choose sometimes. Sometimes I have a pity party when I'm feeling particularly sorry for myself, but I've learned to set a time limit on that party. One hour, two, whatever I decide. Then it's over - curfew has come. While I'm having the party I can be really sad and down...of course, no one comes to my party and there are no refreshments. So pretty soon I'm done with that and I'm back to choosing joy. Sounds simplistic but it works for me! blessings, marlene

elizabeth embracing life said...

James speak exactly of this in the first chapter.."consider it ALL joy"...Choosing to be joyful certainly gets our hearts into a spirit of..this is the way it is today and I get to choose...JOY!

Rhonda A. said...

Sheri, I love reading your posts and this one particularly touched me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights, you are God's instrument!!!