Apr 132013
 

I want to start by saying that my heart goes out to Kay, Rick, and the whole Warren family. I cannot fathom the unimaginable pain and loss they must be feeling right now due to the death of their son Matthew. My son’s name is also Matthew, and I cannot imagine having to do life without him. My prayer is that God would bring comfort and peace to the whole Warren family.

I listened to the “Choose Joy” audio book that is written and read aloud by Kay Warren.

Choose Joy In this book, Kay is very open and honest about her inner life and struggle to find joy. She is real and transparent about many of the situations and circumstances that she has gone through in her life. She makes herself vulnerable so that others may identify with her and learn how to choose joy in their lives.

One of my biggest takeaways from this book is Kay’s definition of joy:

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.”

Choosing joy is about trusting God in everything. Trusting Him with what we’re afraid of, with what we don’t understand, with our futures, and with everything in between.  This reminds me of the Prayer for Serenity:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.
—Reinhold Niebuhr

Choosing joy is about knowing that God is in control and that in the end we will be with Him forever in heaven and everything will be wonderful. There will be no more crying or pain or death or grief or suffering. The former things will be left behind, forgotten, and the new order of things in heaven will begin and remain forever!

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” – Revelation 21:3-5 NLT

“Choose Joy” by Kay Warren is a wonderful book about choosing to trust God in all the circumstances and situations of life. It is definitely worth the read or listen.

I would love to hear from you. Have you read this book? How has it helped you to choose joy in your life? What else (books or other) has helped you choose the parallel train track of joy versus the track of sorrow in your life?

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