It wasn't a difficult decision to choose the word joy as my word of the year. I know it's important to have joy in my life. God has blessed me beyond what I could ever ask for, and when I chose this I thought, "Of course I can be joyful. Life is good!"
It's probably a good thing that I was blind to the future, or I might have chosen a word like frustration, anger, confusion, stress, worry. Those are all the emotions that I want to feel right now, and the ones that are coming to me the easiest right now. I'm glad that these aren't the words I wanted to work on this year, though.
What is it that Jesus said about worry? "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" and "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:27 and 6:34)
I don't need to worry. I choose joy in the midst of trouble, in uncertain circumstances, which we're surely facing right now. I keep thinking about the verse I quoted way back in January, James 1:2 - "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
My family is facing 'trials of various kinds' right now. I don't know how to even explain what we have ahead of us, and I don't really know what we have ahead of us. What I know, though, is that God is good. ALL the time. And I have made a choice that when the going gets rough, I'm going to be joyful. I may be sad, frustrated, worried and a little stressed out too, but I know that God has a plan in the midst of this battle.
That gives me peace, hope, and a whole lot of joy!
Proverbs 17:22 - "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."