Choosing Joy

We had a woman named Robin speak to our MOPS group this morning, and what an inspiration she was. This is a woman who was married, and then lost her husband of 15 years to a heart attack. After thinking she would never remarry, she did meet someone else, and not a few years after they were married, he was killed in a plane crash. In between those two losses, she also had to bury her mother. This woman had every reason on earth to just put her hands up and say, "I give up!" But she challenged us today that no matter what the circumstances, always strive to find joy. That means surrendering to God, even if you don't feel like it, and telling him that you trust his promise to always provide for us what we need, when we need it.
Her challenge to us included three steps:

1. Acknowledge God is God. Accept God loves you.
2. Cultivate an attitude of gratefulness. Try to look at your life from a new prospective, finding good in everything.
3. Mark where you are in your life, then look back at what you've done up to this point. You will see monuments through your whole life and will see where God was in fact with you each step of the way.
Through her entire talk, she kept using the line "count your many blessings" which kept reminding me of this song that we sing occasionally in our church...
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.