I Cannot Choose Joy

choose-joyNo matter how much I may want to or how pretty it seems.

I may want things to be OK. I may see the silver lining and wrangle the positive thoughts and repeat the mantras until my face is squeezed into a clam of a smile as my emotions begin to clamor within me teased by the desire that I want to choose joy.

I know I cannot.

The thing is, my perspective is often shadowed by my emotions of the moment and not resting in truth.

So this is where I land while pondering my way through Philippians 4:4-7:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice. Let your graciousness shine before men, the Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God that transcends understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Rather than teaching us to choose joy, which can be exasperating, I think this verse guides us to a deeper issue – deeper than joy – the root of joy.

I think these verses put us in a place to recognize our finite personage and position.

This puts God above all things and in all things and at the end of all things.

Everything ends in the Lord :
Rejoice in the Lord
…the Lord is near
…present your requests to God

The only part of this passage that begins with the Lord is His peace and even this sentence ends in Christ. I wonder if there is not purpose in that placement. I wonder if we are to bring everything to the Lord in order for us to be able to receive peace from the Lord.

If we rejoice in the Lord – who He is and not just what we expect Him to be or do – when we present everything with thanksgiving – how can this not change our hearts?

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