Hebrews 12:1-3

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Choose Joy!

I have to be honest and say it’s been a little more difficult the last few weeks for some reason. I’m struggling to be thankful in all things, to choose to be joyful.  I’m not looking for the reason why, I just want God to heal me completely. While in the process of Him doing that I am trying to honor and glorify Him in all things, which at times is easier than others.

So, what does God do? He gives me a verse to encourage me. While doing my devotions I read James 1:2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” My devotions was entitled “What happens when you choose joy”

Like the first century followers of Jesus, we have to be taught that trials are what God uses to develop our endurance. Unless we've been told how God works, our response to trials is likely to be anything but JOY. Trials …troubles, or something that breaks the pattern of peace, comfort, joy and happiness in someone’s life.  And I am supposed to choose JOY? It doesn't come naturally. Knowing and doing are two different things. Knowing what God can do with trials isn't the same thing as doing life with that knowledge. It’s our privilege to respond to God’s work through the testing of that trial by choosing joy.

There are so many things we can choose, anger, discouragement, bitterness and or sadness. But JOY is a much better choice! Not JOY for the trial but for what the trial will accomplish in deepening my faith in God.  All of these feelings will produce endurance but I desire the endurance that will deepen my faith with my Heavenly Father.  
So “I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” Phillippians 3:14 I’m praying that God will teach me to count it all joy because I know that joy improves the possibility of endurance. I also know that I can’t do this alone; I need the strength of the Lord to help me to endure. Nehemiah 8:10 “for the Joy of the Lord is your strength” I pray, that He will give me the strength to endure and to be joyful through it. That others will also see that joy and hope that I have in Christ Jesus. Although hard at times I'm Choosing JOY!

Hugs Sandra 


  1. Well said, Sandra!! Thank you sharing that as it is something I needed to hear too:)
    Praying for you that you will have THAT JOY!!
    God bless you!!
    Kathryn Luimes

  2. Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Amen

  3. Thank you for this beautiful message, Sandra.
    I think of you regularly and appreciate your continued updates on the blog. I LOVED the kayak picture a few posts ago--that is just awesome for you to be in the water. Your drive is inspiring. Thank you for your honesty through the challenges.

    You may well have a future in writing devotionals too! Praying for that daily choice of joy. And of course for complete healing.
    Love to all of you,
    cousin Anita and family

  4. Thanks for this inspiring post, Sandra. I'm carrying this forward today--choose joy!
    It's so good to know specifically how we can pray for you, and we will keep praying. Lots of love, Cathy

  5. What appropriate words for my life right now. I so needed to hear it!
    Given everything that you have been through, I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Thank you for reminding me to "choose” joy, for it will never come if I just wait for it.
    By just waiting, I realize that I have chosen anger, discouragement, bitterness and sadness. Mixed in with impatience and intolerance, it has not been a pleasant eight months. I now have hope that even though my physical state may not change, I can fully change my emotional and spiritual state of being.
    Thank you so much for that. Following you on your blog encourages me so much and puts my own problems into perspective.
    May God richly bless you and completely heal you, Karen