2014 was a year filled with disaster. The news has been heavily marked by stories of violence across the world. Hostage situations, shootings, murders, plane crashes, rioting, heated conflict in the Middle East and eastern Europe—tragedy and bloodshed seem to be more and more common. And all of this only compounds the troubles of our personal lives. Sometimes in the midst of this turbulence, hope seems elusive or even futile.
As Christians, we are called to hope even in the darkest of times. In Romans 15:13, the apostle Paul says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
So we must take a stand against darkness and choose to live in joy. This is not to be confused with happiness because joy and happiness are not synonymous. Happiness is mostly based on our circumstances while joy is independent of our earthly fortunes. Joy is a spiritual quality that is powered by our faith in God, and therefore, it is possible under any circumstances.
Choosing joy has manifold blessings. Because joy is partnered with peace that comes from Christ, we are led to an abiding and sustaining hope in Him. It frees us from being ruled by our circumstances and gives us the strength to persevere through trials and sorrows.
But, ultimately and most importantly, choosing joy brings glory to God. When our joy is evident in our daily lives, we are acknowledging God’s faithfulness and mercy, and we are able to show others the reason for our hope.
I choose to live in and be filled with joy.
(Driving Reflections—Thankfulness & Joy)