July 4, 2011

I Choose....................................JOY

It seemed such a happy little "slogan" way back when I first heard the song by Larnelle Harris.
 I CHOOSE JOY.
.................................................A banner to carry with me. 

Little did I know how DEEPLY embedded that would become in my spirit.
How necessary a TRUTH I would need to learn..........................and understand.

Anyone of you who has known me for any length of time KNOW that joy is something that has always come to me easily.    What a "LOVELY" phrase.....I choose JOY.
It was fitting.  Choose JOY.  
Over time I had to consistently and consciously REMIND myself of those 3 words.  To make a conscious decision-------make such an effort............to CHOOSE joy.

Choose JOY over sadness.  Choose JOY over tears.  Choose JOY over grief.  Choose JOY over FEAR.  Choose JOY over intimidation and insecurity.  Choose JOY over uncertainty and DOUBT.  Choose JOY over brokenness and defeat.  Choose JOY------in STEAD of------in SPITE of------------anything that came my way that tried to rob me of JOY and PEACE and HOPE and the stability---steadiness and unwavering confidence I had in a God who ALWAYS-----*ALWAYS* has my best interest at heart. A God who has ALWAYS delivered.  A God who has ALWAYS met every need.  A God whose grace called ME by name.  A God who knows what He was getting into when He called me-----but called me STILL.

KNOWING that every moment of my existence has been touched by His sovereign hands and EVERY********LITTLE***********THING**************Is gonna be alright:)

It's all good!

How can I be so confident?  Because GOD is GOOD!  He's a GOOD God.
So I can truly say---It IS *WELL* with my soul.  

At times...it was an effort----and a choice for sure.

But over time?  It settled in my spirit.
SETTLED.  

......................and the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.  1 Peter 5:10

Those are comforting words.  
Can there be a PEACE and REST for the people of God?  
Can there be a moment where I can catch a breath and experience a supernatural peace.....and REST on every side?   He did it for Jehosophat.................... for his God had given him rest on every side. 2 Chronicles 20:30.  He did it for countless other men and women in the scriptures who put their faith, hope and confidence in an unseen yet VERY near and real and present God.  

A God who has proved Himself faithful before----and who will NO DOUBT be faithful to perform His word.   It's what He said to Jeremiah.   I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it....... Jer. 1:12.

In Isaiah 55:11 He reassures us of the power of His word......."so shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."


 There is a discipline I see practiced in scripture by those who journeyed life with unwavering confidence.  REMEMBERING the extraordinary things God has done before----David, Jehosophat, the Israelites (to name a few)-----knowing that His constant presence and constant watch over us is enough to place ALL our hope in and RESTING in the things He's already done and in the things He's said. 

I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:11-12

So when the heaviness in your heart makes it hard to move....when the ache that doesn't seem to let up just sits there.....when you can't catch a breath......when nothing seems to be going your way in every direction you look........when just as you find your footing from the last unforeseen circumstance that came your way-the rug is snatched out from underneath you yet again.....you can KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt there is a REST for the people of God.

I KNOW THIS.
Yes, of course Peace is there with you in the middle of it all.  His name is Jesus.
But you can be confident in this......peace is coming.  Rest on every side.

God knows what lies before you----up ahead beyond what you can see.....(I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too—your reassuring presence, coming and going. Ps 139)

.......but you need to keep moving to see your deliverance.  Your answered prayer.  You need to keep moving if you're going to see Him manifest all that He promised.

PUTTING all your hope, trust and confidence in the word of God.
You need to get the word of God embedded so deeply inside of you and your spirit so that it is ALL YOU KNOW.

Jehosophat was faced with such great circumstances.  Things were not looking favorable for him.  He said....."we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”  2 Chronicles 20:12

When you don't KNOW anything else but the word of God.
When you just don't know HOW or WHEN or WHY........................................you can rest assured in what you DO know......the word of God.  If it's in there........if you've been diligent to learn Him and to learn His word.....then you can rely on what you DO know.  The word of God becomes a PART of you------it's becomes WHO you are.......and what you believe.

Think about the Israelites in the wilderness.  How many times they wanted to retreat and give it all up. 

"It's just not worth it."
"Life was better in Egypt"
"I just can't keep going"
Keep moving.....................................forward.
When everything inside of you screams to quit and retreat.....................KEEP MOVING FORWARD. 
God sees something we can't see.  God knows something we don't know.
Trust Him.
TRUST...............................................HIM.
Trust His character.  Trust His word.

So can I truly experience JOY in EVERY part of my journey?
The answer is YES!  Absolutely!

It's a joy that I just don't understand. 
It's comes from peace governing my way.
Just being STILL and KNOWING He is God.  Becoming so aware of His presence in my life......learning His character.....learning His word......coming to truly KNOW Him so intimately and deeply that all that's left is rest and peace. 
 
In all of my life...in EVERY season....He is STILL God and I have a reason to sing
.....I have a reason to worship.












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