I Choose Joy

Just thinking…….

We were studying David in our small group Bible study this morning. There’s so much to consider about David, but this lesson concentrated on his depression and how he handled it. He chose to have joy and to praise God despite his circumstances.

Several in the group shared some of their own struggle with depression and how God has been faithful in the midst. As they spoke, I began to think of my own circumstances.

I’ve had life pretty easy. I have a wonderful family. I enjoyed my teaching career. I have a close circle of friends. God has provided all the material things that we need and even has seen fit to bless us with some wants. I belong to a warm, caring and Christ centered church. We live in a good neighborhood with good neighbors. We live in a state with low taxes. We live in the USA, best place on earth! We have a retirement with a good pension and savings put away for the future. We have fulfilled many dreams of travel. The list could go on and on. These great parts of life didn’t just happen. We had to choose to make and keep friends. We chose to attend our church. And we made many other choices that have led to this stage of life. Some parts of life were outside our control, but were definitely within God’s control. We didn’t choose our parents, but God gave us loving and nurturing families. We didn’t choose to be Americans, but God allowed us to be born here. We made money mistakes, but God saw us through it and provided. So none of our life now is by chance or mistake. I don’t know why God chooses to bless me as He has. I can only say thank You.

All that to say that I should not experience depression. And thankfully, I rarely am down. Long ago, I chose to live life with joy, to look on the bright side, to cling to hope. Even before I became a Christian, I was a cock-eyed optimist. But being a Christian led me to explore my joy. We Christians, of all people, should live with gladness. My future is secure, no matter what happens. I know that I am loved unconditionally. God has promised that He will never forsake me. He has promised to provide. What more can I want?

Do I ever get depressed? Yes. It’s usually when I take my eyes off Jesus and just focus on myself. I allow worry to grow large. But I praise God that He intervenes and puts people into my life to shake me back to reality. And the reality is that joy is there for the taking.  I also look at great examples in how to handle any depression:  David choosing to praise God, Elijah heeding the command to rest, Job firmly believing that God was in control…..

So despite even the little glitches, I choose to live with joy. “Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee…..” “Joy to the World……” “Jesus, Joy of Our Desire…..”. I am joy-full, shaken down and running over!

To God be the glory……


Published in: on January 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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