The choice of joy

We live in the midst of huge cultural shifts. Mentality in so many things has shifted.

Sometimes we forget, or maybe didn’t even know, that in any shift… we have choices. We can choose “doom and gloom” or we can choose joy. Joy doesn’t mean “lack of problems.” In fact, it may compound problems. But we can still choose joy. We can choose the way of blessing, not cursing.

Choosing joy does not mean abandoning truth. It does not mean abandoning allegiance to the Kingdom of God. It may mean a less firm hold on our cultural allegiances and long-time framework.

We need to learn to lose. We need to learn to lose a few “cultural battles” because ultimately those things fade away. They will blow away like sand with time. We just may not like the way things are blowing right now.

Daniel was faced with unbelievable upheaval. It wasn’t just a cultural shift. It was a political, military, life shift. But he chose to live in blessing, even while standing for truth. He risked. And God rewarded. He ended up blessing his captor’s culture. By the time we get to Daniel 4 he is desiring good for Nebuchadnezzar! He wants the king, his captor, to choose the way of life. He mourns the thought of Nebuchadnezzar choosing wrong.

In these hard shifting days, may we have the strength in our lives to choose joy. The enemy robs through anxiety. Jesus restores through joy.

No place for worry

When we really take in what Jesus is saying about the power of the Kingdom, we come to his amazing “guarantee:” you won’t worry.

No matter how many times I read this passage in Matthew 6, I still choke on this passage. Worry. Anxiety. Things that keep me up. Things that wake me up. Things that give me nightmares.

Worry. Anxiety.

And Jesus says, “Stop.”

It does go back to FOCUS. When my treasure is in Christ, I learn to TRUST.

Life is so much more than the stuff I worry over.

Life is about his kingdomMy attention, my affections, are to be in his direction and he graciously takes care of the “little” stuff in my life.

Let my life be devoted to treasuring Jesus.