Joy is a choice. It’s a point of view. It’s a way of looking at things. If ever there was someone who is an example of this it is Joyce Isidor. Monday through Friday we have an early morning prayer call at our church, and Joyce is faithfully on that call. She is literally bubbling over with joy every morning. In fact Peggy, another faithful prayer warrior, has given her the nickname “Rejoice with Joyce.”

I asked Joyce “What is your secret to living with such joy” She told me as soon as she opens her eyes in the morning, she gives thanks to God for another day of life and just starts to count her blessings. 

Joy is a focus before it is a feeling.  What better time than this Christmas season for us to focus on the reason for the season, Jesus. Focusing on the birth of our Savior will lead us to the fullness of joy that only God can bring.

That familiar carol says it so well …Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King! As a child of God we can rejoice in knowing we did receive Jesus as our Lord as our Savior, as our King. We can rejoice knowing our name is written in the Book of Life. We can rejoice in the joy of our salvation, knowing we received eternal life, and Jesus promised us that no one can snatch us from his hand.

Joy is a choice; it’s a point of view. It’s a focus before it’s a feeling. Joy is a way of thinking.. “Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:4-5).

We rejoice because we can call the God of the universe our Father. Why do I say that with such confidence? Because that is what Jesus said as he taught us how to pray: “Our father who art in Heaven.” We rejoice because we can go to God in prayer and give him all our requests, and trust he is in control as we learn to “Let go and Let God,” and as we do that, peace will flood our soul.

We rejoice because the Lord is at hand.   

We rejoice because Jesus said “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:28-30).

Joy is a choice, Joy is a way of thinking. Joy is a focus before it is a feeling.

Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable –if anything is excellent or praiseworthy –think about such things.” 

Joy is a way of thinking!!

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me– put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

The Apostle Paul was such an example of living a life filled with joy no matter what the circumstances. You can see this because he wrote this letter from prison. Again, joy is a choice, it is a way of thinking. Paul was filled with joy because He was living a life on mission and nothing was going to deter him. He was a missionary, called to preach the gospel with clarity and to lead others to walking in the fullness of their faith and the call on their lives. And he was continuing to fulfill that purpose from his prison cell.

There is joy in living a life filled with purpose. There is joy in giving. As you follow his lead he will give you opportunities to give to others, big and small. When people reach out to me when they are going through a difficult situation, I’m filled with compassion and empathy, and I want to help so I pray for them and with them. I help by leading them to God’s word and standing on it with them. I help by seeking God for wisdom and then counseling them. And as I do this, there is a joy in knowing I am making a difference in their lives — the joy of giving by being there for them.

There is joy in giving. Just the other day a dear sister in the Lord was there for me.

Anyone that knows me knows that second only to my skill in driving (when I drive people with me are praying “Jesus take the wheel”) is wrapping my head around new technology. So when my laptop throws me a curve or my printer doesn’t want to print, I call on Sue. She is right there for me and she always knows just what to do and fixes the problem. As I thanked her the other day, she responded, “It always gives me joy to bless and help you–you are a precious friend to me.” I see that joy all over her when she comes to help me, and it makes it so easy for me to reach out to her when I need help. I can only pray that people feel the same way about me when they reach out to me, because it truly does fill me with joy! 

So remember– joy is a choice. It’s a point of view. It’s a way of thinking. It’s the joy of our salvation. It’s the joy that comes from giving to others and living a life filled with purpose.