by DanWolgemuth on September 16, 2016

Not a momentary lapse into a positive frame of mind.
Not a good mood kind of day.
Not an outcome due to perfect circumstances.
Not a function of ideal situations.


“Christian joy is both a privilege and a duty.” (Jerry Bridges – The Fruitful Life)

Cultivated in the soil of real life…

Birthed through the pains of brokenness, disappointment, affliction, sickness, tragedy…

Delivered with the celebration of life and hope and victory and courage…


We don’t arrive at hope by avoiding trouble.

We don’t navigate to the destination by steering around trouble, but by finding purpose and a plan in every circumstance and situation.


By locking our gaze on Jesus.

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)

A joy set before us. Always in view. On the other side of the cross. Beyond the shame.


A profound choice.
An intellectual ascent.
A courageous decision.
A faith-rich step.


Not naïve but fully aware.

Joyless living suffocates. It extinguishes. It drowns.

I want joy.
I chose joy.
I find joy…

In Jesus.
Through Jesus.

I see it in His people.

  • Jesus through tears of agony found joy – Luke 22.
  • Stephen as stones of injustice were flying – Acts 7.
  • Paul, while an inmate – Philippians 1.
  • Lindsey Walker: young, beautiful, vibrant, newly married… in the battle with cancer in Eugene, Oregon.
  • Dakota: a criminal record, a new creation.
  • Me…
  • You…


Not in spite of, but because.

“To be joyless is to dishonor God and to deny His love and His control over our lives. It is practical atheism.” Jerry Bridges

Press toward joy. Embrace God’s love.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13 ESV)

Not on our own.




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