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In my email this morning:

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.~ Psalm 92:4

I never knew it could be like this, that God could do these things in my life, use me in the ways that He does, protect me like He does and communicate with me in such a real way. I never knew I could know Him as a real and living person, have such a real and close and personal relationship with Him. People are telling me that this blog is helping them, but it is helping me too. Isn’t it amazing how God can use the ways we bless others to bless us too?

OK, to finish what I was talking about yesterday (and was too long winded to put in just one post. LOL)

Victim and survivor are ways of this world, but neither are God’s way. See, both depend on the person to take action. Victims either crumble and succumb to stress, depression, fear, etc. or they “stick it out,” becoming martyrs.

Survivors rail against the adversity. They fight it and rise above it, often tearing down or striking out at those who abused them or caused the adversity.

Both of these are widely accepted and even revered in the world.

But God offers us a third choice, a choice where He takes action.

We persevere. We find joy as we work through the trials, seeking God and His purpose for us, allowing Him to work in us. As we journey through the experience, we are learning, seeing, growing and we emerge victorious! That victory may be realized now, in this life, or it may not be realized until we stand before God and he tells us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

There is no argument that it is easier to give in to the frustration and anger. Scientists theorize that negative feelings stay with us longer, we feel them stronger and they lead to more negative feelings because they protect us. If someone wrongs us and we hold that grudge, if we don’t forgive, we will be protected and next time that person wrongs us we won’t feel the pain as sharply. Physiologically, we are built to hold on to those negative feelings. They protect us both emotionally and physically.

But that is not God’s way. God’s way goes against the nature of man, pushing us to reach higher. We are to overcome the strongholds of the flesh, of this world.

We are to choose joy which means releasing the negativity.

Attitude colors our viewpoint. Just as my happy little flower sought out the fluorescent light in the absence of true sunlight, so should we seek out joy in our trials.

No one can take that away from you unless you let them.

Though it is easy to get discouraged and angry when people are cruel to you or when things don’t go your way, don’t surrender to that darkness. It takes energy to find joy, to make that choice, I know it is hard for me to push away those feelings that come so naturally, those feelings of anger and depression as people are unkind to me. But I must push them away and seek the joy because succumbing to the dark feelings will only serve to empower me to destroy myself and those around me. They give me the power and means to undo the good works.

When you can see your place in the world, a station that extends beyond your own personal bubble, you can see just how profoundly you affect others. Stress, discouragement, unhappiness, anger, frustration, fear and all the other feelings that come with victimhood affect not just you, but those around you. They rub off on others. You don’t hurt just you.

Discipline and self control is a decision.

Joy is a choice.

What do you choose? I’m choosing joy.