Acceptance with Joy

April 7, 2007

Isn’t it awesome when you can find one quote, or part of a song, that’s really short, simple, and easy to remember…that is helpful in a million different ways? 
Maybe it’s something common and cliché, like ‘don’t hate, appreciate’, or ‘stop drop and roll.’ Whatever the case may be, these phrases have been ingrained into our mind, so that when we encounter the problem… our brain hits play on that broken record down in the subconscious.

For me, (as always) however, it’s a little different. 
I have two of these… phrases. The first has been very helpful to me, in many situations – from bad grades to moody siblings, a death in the family to horrendous nightmares.

“Acceptance with joy.”

Think about that for a second.

Acceptance… sure, that’s easy enough sometimes, when we actually *had* no choice in the matter to begin with. 
But what about this…. joy?

What *is* Joy?

Well, as for myself, to find out what something is, first I must discover what it is not. I wrote this in a letter to myself recently.

Joy is not a feeling. Thus, it must be a decision.
Joy is not relative to situation. Thus, it must be unconditional.
Joy is not accepting. Thus, Joy must be embracing.

Decide that you will unconditionally embrace what God gives you. That… is Joy.

“Count it all Joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials… knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”
-James 1:2

Count it *all* Joy. Acceptance, with Joy. I’m sure most of us could swallow the acceptance part. Joy… embracing tragedy? It goes against everything in our human nature. (that just shows me how much it is of God I guess.) To, when encountering ‘various trials’, to be able to look yourself in the eye and know that “it is well with [your] soul”

“When Peace like a river atendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot,
Thou has taught me to say,
It is well. It is well with my soul.”
-Horatio Spafford

Make a decision… for joy. To unconditionally embrace what you are faced with. Yes, we are human, yes, we will falter, but Joy is a lifestyle – not a moment.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
-Philippians 4:13

Got Joy?

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