How To Choose Joy In The Tough Things


Last week I had the privilege to hear Skye Jethani speak at our District Pastors’  Conference.

This is a quote from his talk that really grabbed my attention. Let me provide a little context.

Examples of some things we DO NOT choose: medical diagnosis, unemployment, depression, ministry calling, where we are born, divorce, changes in social behavior, our parents, etc.

Some of these can be GOOD, and we all know that some can equally be UNFAVORABLE.

Now, it’s easy for us to choose JOY in the things we actually choose; things we had a say in. But it’s another issue when a life circumstance makes its way into our lives that we have little to no control over.

The REAL QUESTION to ask, then, is this. Does God have a purpose for me in this particular situation? And even though I DON’T LIKE IT, can I embrace it as my current reality and TRUST GOD to work through me?

So you see, making a conscious decision to choose (own) what we didn’t actually choose in the first place can be a real game changer.

What UNCHOSEN circumstance are you in today? What might it look like if you chose to OWN IT?

I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below. You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!



3 Ways To Find Real Joy

Joy…it can be an attitude, a destination, a journey, or an emotion.  Do we find joy, or do only some of us get to experience it when joy finds us?


Some of YOUR most joyful moments might include:

  • Your first kiss
  • Catching a big fish
  • Your wedding day
  • The birth of a child
  • Winning the lottery
  • A memorable family vacation

These are all great things.  But they are merely experiences.  What you and I need is a constant state of being that is saturated and energized by JOY.

“…the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”   – Matthew 2:9-10

So, what was the star to these wise men?  It was simply evidence of Jesus.  And that led them to experiencing ‘great joy’ when they saw it.  You and I can learn something from the wise men in this passage.  Real joy is attainable if we just look and notice Jesus in our lives.  I’m not talking about on Sundays and in the 10 minutes of our devotional time each morning.  But really making an effort to notice his presence in every moment of every day.

Here are 3 ways to find JOY in your day:

  1.  Ask for it | Yep…pray!  Be on it like a dog on his bone.  Plead with God every day to let you experience joy to the fullest.  Believe it or not, God really does want you to have joy in this life.
  2. Expose yourself to it | Get creative here.  Read books on joy and happiness.  Listen to podcasts that are encouraging.  Follow people on Twitter and Instagram who constantly exhibit a joyful attitude and faith walk.  And hey…hang out with happy people, and limit your exposure to those who are always negative.
  3. Plan for it | Journal.  Write a letter to yourself describing the joy you long for in your life.  Talk to a friend or get a mentor/life coach.  Ask them to guide you and offer constructive accountability.

Take a moment to watch this music video by Rend Collective.  Let the lyrics marinade with your thoughts about true JOY.  And may you truly have joy in your life this week.

The Fruit of the Spirit in Leadership

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Do you have joy, REAL JOY, in your life today?  Ok, that’s a pretty big question.  Let me scale it back just a tad bit.  Do you experience Joy in your job?

See what I did there?  I fine-tuned the question while keeping it’s magnitude.  But it really is a fair question.  Do you honestly look forward to going to work each day?  Now, reality proves that ‘every day’ Joy in heading to work might be a slight stretch.  The heart of the question, however, is asking, “Do you love what you do?”  If your answer is ‘no,’ you might need to start examining why that is.  If you are in a leadership position and you don’t love what you do…..we need to talk!

It is absolutely critical for leaders who lead others to have REAL JOY in their position.  If you are miserable, everyone you lead will be miserable.

REAL JOY is not dependant upon our circumstances.  Go back and read that part again!  Let me paint a quick picture for you.  Even if…

…everyone on your team isn’t catching your vision.

…your boss is not pleased with your overall performance.

…you don’t have all the resources you need to do the job well.

You’ve got to be able to experience Joy in spite of your circumstances.  Why?  Because our circumstances cannot be our source of hope and fulfillment.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.     Romans 15:13

Today, rediscover Joy in your leadership role.  And if you have never really had Joy at work, I’d encourage you to  take some serious time away to reflect and pray.  Search for why Joy is absent.

Have you worked for someone who clearly disliked their job?  How did that effect your work?

Comment below.  You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram