“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2)
The longer I am on the road serving with NET the more I learn about what pure joy is. I have come to know that pure joy comes with trust and where I can find and fight for joy. We all have felt joy in our lives, the feeling of the jump in your chest, seeing your best friend, or talking about something you are passionate about. Being with my team is a big one for me.
We all know that feeling and we have chosen to find joy within these things. Even though we find joy within things, I’ve noticed in my life that I haven’t always chosen joy when it’s hard, when it’s uncomfortable, and when I don’t feel like it. This is something I’ve had to realize about myself and make the change needed.
Joy is expressing God’s goodness, so why is joy not my first response when plans change or when people get on my nerves. Relationship with God is the source of pure joy lived out, which everything comes. I start my day out with prayer, conversation with God, giving him my day, my work, and my relationships. A prayer I learned a few years ago from Emily Wilson who is a Catholic speaker, has been a big part of my everyday life.
I simply say “Jesus, I choose joy” or “Jesus, be my joy.”
I say this everyday and especially in moments when it’s hard to choose joy. The first few weeks on the road I hurt my back and I did not want to be joyful, I was in pain, but I stopped and prayed for God to let me see the joy in those trials. I felt so much pain and sadness, but then I saw the conversations I was having with my teammates and how they were able to serve me and how much joy that brought them. I was able to redirect my thoughts to Jesus, and ask for help.
I have been able to see a difference in myself in how I react to everyday situations. I encourage you to pray for joy because God has so much pure joy for you and he just needs your permission.
Be joyful and pray!
NET Team 3