A couple weeks ago, I started doing these Memorable Monday posts, on books I had recently finished reading. This week, I’m choosing a book I read in January, shortly after deciding that God wanted me to make JOY my word for 2016. This was the first book I read on walking in Biblical JOY.
To better understand joy, I started reading Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, by Kay Warren, wife of Pastor Rick Warren. A free 30-day devotions with the same title is also available, at the following link: http://kaywarren.com/devotions.
Kay begins by clarifying that joy isn’t “feeling good all the time.” Joy is not about our feelings or circumstances. Joy is a choice, a decision we make no matter how we feel or what circumstances we are currently facing. Then she gives her own definition of joy, one of the better ones I’ve read:
Another point that stood out to me from this book is that no matter what we are currently facing, it is never all good or all bad. In a difficult situation, there is also good if we look for it. And even in a good situation, there are things we would like to change.
A few more quotes that stood out to me from Choose Joy:
- “An untested faith is an unreliable faith.”
- “We want the product of trials – maturity – without having to go through the process.“
- “By how we act under trials, we can earn the right to testify to who God is.”
As you read the above quotes, you may be asking yourself what this has to do with JOY. This is primarily a book that teaches us how to walk in joy when our faith is being tested. Some personal testimony is given, but the focus is on teaching. If you want to better understand how to choose joy regardless of your circumstances, it’s an excellent source of instruction. It was a good choice for me as I stepped out in January to really understand how to walk in a way that pleases God in the midst of chronic illness and pain. It built a good foundation, on which I’m now building by reading books that are more experience oriented.