In contrast to my musings yesterday… I just wanted to remind myself and whoever might still read this that there is JOY in choosing to make sacrificial decisions. Now, my tendancy, and I think many Christian circles imply this, is to live life with God as if every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So if I decide to be selfish there’s a negative, and if I choose to sacrifice, there is a positive…. However I don’t read that idea in Scripture nor do I really see that happen in my life.
No, instead I usually always have another decision after every choice I make. I can choose to follow what God is calling me to do and then choose to react in dismay and complain about the apparent loss (no joy). Or if I choose to be selfish and leave God out of the picture I always have the opportunity to bring Him back into the picture and live in grace (joy) and possibly avoid the negative… or not, and live out whatever consequences the world we live in has in store. There’s a lot more I could add to this, but I’ll leave that to some other post.
So no matter my decision, I really do have the choice to then experience His joy. The kind of joy that comes from trusting God in provision, love, relationships, and with my emotions and circumstances. Because every time I choose to make what looks like a sacrifice in my eyes I always experience more peace, more confidence in Jesus, ands most of all the joy that no matter the situation, in the end we will ultimately have ever-lasting joy.
Sometimes though this joy can seem, at best, elusive and many times at worse, non-existent. This is when I have to take action and turn to Jesus for further guidance, further confirmation, but mostly just lean in on His truth. When I remember that we are in a war, and take His truth into the battles, I always encounter joy that can not be explained. These days, more often than not, it is in simple songs of worship, simple prayers of honesty, and sacrifices of my flesh where I encounter the joy and victory that only my Savior, the LORD my God, Jesus and His Holy Spirit can impart.