TODAY MATTERS - CHOOSE JOY!
This week we started a brand new series called “Today Matters.” Throughout this month, we will be talking about the importance of living every single day like it counts! Our scripture to memorize for the month is Psalm 118:26 - “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” This scripture is perfect for our first main point, which is “choose joy!”
PAUL CHOOSES JOY
Paul is someone who was used in a powerful way by God. He started out as someone who was very mean to Christians, but God transformed him and used him to write most of the New Testament and lead countless people to Jesus! Even though Paul had a relationship with Jesus, he had a really tough life. He was thrown into prison for preaching about Jesus, shipwrecked, beaten, bitten by a poisonous snake, had friends turn against him, and even more!
Can you imagine going through the things that Paul did without complaining? Well, that’s exactly what he did! Paul didn’t keep his mind in the past or even on his situation. Instead, he kept his thoughts on God and the call that God had for him. “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Just like Paul, we can choose to have joy no matter the situation we are in. When he was in prison, he praised God with songs, he learned to be content in every situation, and he was giving encouragement to others during times that you would think he would need it! Obviously, it is not possible to always be happy because sometimes there are things that will be sad in life, but joy is something that we can have no matter what. God tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4-8) It is possible to rejoice God always because joy is something we choose to have!
Even if we face hard times, we have to choose joy! Life is going to happen either way. Sometimes we are going to have amazing days and sometimes we may face hard times! Either way, we are going to be living our life for Jesus! So isn’t it better to live a life full of joy?! We always have something to be grateful for. God has given us life, friends, family, a house, food, and the list goes on! So even when life gets hard we can focus on all the good things that we still have!
Discuss the following questions with your child…
1. What do you think is the difference between having joy and being happy?
2. Have you had any times where it was hard to have joy?
3. What are some things you can do to remind yourself to choose joy even when things are hard?