This is the time of year that I usually make a long list of New Year’s resolutions.
Then by sometime in February – or March at the latest – I go back to living the same way I used to.
New Year’s resolutions are known for their ineffectiveness.
Why? They almost always focus on what we DO, not on who we ARE. The best way to make lasting positive changes in our lives is to start at the level of who we ARE.
- We ARE children of God, if we have accepted Him as Savior and Lord of our life.
- We ARE loved by God, accepted in the beloved.
- We ARE new creations in Christ, being conformed to His image.
- We ARE more than conquerors through Jesus Christ.
Who we ARE is the core of our being. It is the part that we need to focus on if our desire is to see lasting changes in our lives.
So, what does all of this have to do with this week’s prompt word JOY? As I began reflecting this month on my normal pattern of making a list of New Year’s Resolutions, I sensed God showing me there was a better way. He spoke to my heart that I needed to focus on inward change and the outward problems would fall in line. He prompted me to choose a word of the year for 2016, and as I prayed He gave me the word: JOY
When God speaks, He usually confirms His message. The first confirmation I received was from a book study I’ve been doing with the group God-Living Girls with Chronic Illness. As we came to the final chapter in One More Step, by Rachel Wojo, the subject was JOY. From this chapter, I learned that we can find JOY in strange places. JOY has nothing to do with location or circumstances. Rachel says, “Pure joy has nothing to do with what you have, but rather who you are and the God you serve.” And joy doesn’t come from being religious. Rachel adds, “Religion offers lists; relationship offers love.” Since I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, I have the prerequisite for experiencing JOY.
By this time, I was convinced that God was speaking to me. But He gave another confirmation. The next topic for our group study was announced: Finding JOY and Purpose in Chronic Illness. Sometimes you just k.n.o.w. that God is speaking, and this has been one of these times! So my one word focus for 2016 will be JOY.
.This is a post for Tuesday at Ten, the weekly blog link-up, where Karen gives us a writing word or phrase prompt and we have six days to use that prompt in our writing. This week’s prompt word is JOY.