Consider it all joy, my brothers--James 1:2--a decision must be made
The Joy of the Lord is my Strength--Nehemiah 8:10--this is a fact
Yet I rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior (Hab. 3:18)--I choose despite the circumstance "Yet, I will!"
So God is working on Joy in my life. It all started with the memory verse the kids are studying this week. Every Sunday morning we've been doing a little Sunday School with our own kids because we don't have a church close by to go to every week. This week's verse is the Fruit of the Spirit passage, Galatians 5:22-23. Then the next morning, our morning family devotions was on the same passage. In the application part, it asked the question, "Which fruit are you needing to work on?" Each one of us identified the ones we needed to work on most, and mine was "Joy".
Another event that helped me identify this area I need to work on is the book Pollyanna. Have any of you read that? I know you have, Mom. It's about a little girl who has gone through way too much for her young years, I think she was 11. She's lost both parents, moved in with an Aunt who doesn't want her, etc. But she plays this game. And the harder it is the more fun it is.
Her father was a poor missionary pastor, so anything they ever recieved came in the missionary barrels. If they needed a pair of boots and got slippers, they had to make do. Well, Pollyanna had been praying for a doll and instead she got crutches. That's when her Dad taught her this little game he plays. Whenever you face something disappointing or hard, you play the "Glad" Game. You find a reason to be glad about it. So the reason she was glad she got the crutches was because she never needed them.
Her father learned to play this game because he was struggling then came across a Praise the Lord for everything passage. Well, he reasoned, it's a command. So he counted all the times we are told in Scripture to praise the Lord. It was over 800 times. If God bothered to tell us to praise Him, even in difficulties, then He knows it will help us. So he obeyed by inventing this game.
Now, why am I telling you this? Well, #1, I need prayer to develop this habit of having a positive, faith-filled outlook on the struggles of life. #2, God is really convicting me of this and others may give me some "perspective" on this as well. I welcome your comments.
How do you deal with struggles? How do you "mind over matter" "considering it all joy", or choose to have joy instead of anger or a complaining spirit when facing the struggles that come into your life?