One of my many goals is to by the end of the year have almost constant peace and joy. This was my new years resolution. Peace and joy are hard to have when you live with people. Any people… It is not always people that trigger everyday emotions of worry or stress. Even if I were to hide in a cave and live as a hermit for the rest of my life, I would still not always have peace and joy. But maybe sometimes we are misunderstanding constant peace and constant joy. Maybe the is more and yet at the same time less to attaining this goal.
Stress is caused by many factors. I will not name them. You are thinking of them right now. Some days I wake up stretching, smiling, and seizing happiness by the shoulders, other days I wake up with a scowl plastered to my face. Thankfully something I know is that joy is not a feeling but a choice. Often it is a choice we must make far more than once a day. Often, I don’t make it at all. That is the reason that I have made this my goal.
My main references are personal experience and a book written by A.W. Tozer called The Pursuit of God. I highly recommend this book. In chapter seven A.W. Tozer said that “‘Looking’ on the Old Testament serpent is identical with ‘believing’ on the New Testament Christ.” A.W. Tozer was referring to the serpent in Numbers 21:8-9 8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. In numbers 21 the people were complaining so God sent snakes that bit and killed people. However, he did not abandon them there. He made a simple escape.
If you will notice God did not say that the people had to do some great thing. All they had to do was look, and they were healed. In the same way we do not have to do any complicated thing to have faith that God will take care of our worries. All we must do is look at Jesus with our soul. When we let our heart and soul rest on Jesus and not the mess around us, we can have both joy and peace. They are decisions, and I can make them, no matter what my feelings say.