Set Your Sails for Joy - Girlfriends in God - April 13, 2021

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April 13, 2021
Set Your Sails for Joy
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10, NKJV).

Friend to Friend
Jesus lived and died so we can experience abundant life, a life exuding joy, and a life so full that others crave to know the source of that fullness. 

Jesus did not come so we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. Jesus came to be our joy.  

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10, NKJV).

Someone once said, “Joy is the flag that flies above the castle of our hearts indicating that the King reigns within.” If those words are true, why are so many women living lives with little or no joy? Maybe we have bought the lies of the enemy, allowing him to steal our joy. 

Discouragement, weariness, disillusionment, shattered dreams, and unrealized goals are some of his favorite weapons. But the truth is that the enemy can only use what we allow him to use.

Are you fighting the same battles you have been fighting for years? 

Are you clinging to familiar pain, and trying to find your identity there? 

Is your joy buried under a mountain of self?

Oh, I have so been there.

No more.

It is time for us to reclaim surrendered ground.

Joy is not the result of outward circumstances. Joy is an inside job, a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control. Every trial or loss, every defeat or victory measured against this confidence can be counted as joy. The decision is ours to make.

The Apostle Paul was a man of great joy. By human terms, he had every right to be angry and bitter. Persecuted, imprisoned, and facing His own death, Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13, NIV).

Wow! Like Paul, we can learn to be joyful. 

James 1:2 (NIV) “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy. The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice. Our inward perspective does not have to reflect our outward circumstances. We can choose joy!

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, a baseball cap on his head and a ball and bat in his hands. He was muttering, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung at it, and missed. “Strike one!” He picked up the ball, threw it into the air, and said to himself, “I’m the greatest hitter ever!” He swung at the ball again. “Strike two!” He paused, examined his bat and ball, and threw the ball into the air, missing a third time. He cried out, “Wow! I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”

Yes, the pursuit of joy is a matter of choice and perspective. It is also a matter of obedience. As Christians, one of our spiritual priorities should be joy.

“One ship sails east.

 One ship sails west.

 Regardless of how the winds blow, 

 It is the set of the sail

 And not the gale

 That determines the way we go.”

 (Author unknown)

Set your sails for joy! Celebrate! Revel in who God is, in what He has done, and in what He is doing and will do in your life when you choose joy. 

Let’s Pray
Father, I come to You with a heart full of praise. Forgive me when I doubt Your work in my life. Please help me walk by faith – not by sight. Teach me to see my daily life through Your eyes and show me how to live in Your joy.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
How would you define joy? Would the people who know you best describe you as a woman of joy?

What is blocking the flow of God’s joy in your life? Is it a sin you need to confess? A relationship you need to make right or a step of obedience you need to take?

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what action you need to take to experience His joy.

More from the Girlfriends
Gig-Trust-AdventureYou were created for joy. I know life can be painful, but God’s plan for an abundant life takes that pain into account. Learning to fully trust God is the foundation of a life of joy.

Need help? Check out Mary’s book, 10-Day Trust Adventure and other resources on her website. Connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

© 2021 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved. 

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Originally published April 13, 2021.