Have you ever looked at some of your fellow Christians and had no choice but to be in awe at the peace and joy they radiate, knowing very well that sometimes they did not really have much to be joyful about, or that they may experience a situation that were actually quite stressful?
Well I have, but in all honesty I have not seen it in many. I have always ascribed that attitude to their mature phase in their Christian journey, praying to God that I may one day reach that level of faith where my human fears and uncertainties are pushed aside and I have the absolute certainty and knowledge that I can go through anything and still be blessed when I get to the other side.
Faith, and the growth thereof, has always been important for me in my Christian journey and I have always thought that with the experiences we go through we will build our faith to such a level that we will one day just radiate the peace and joy that others seem to have so naturally. Apparently I have missed another little verb in the equation, and that is “choice”.
God has given us the freedom of choice in what we think and what we do. One of the choices I have made was to believe that there is more to life than what we see and experience today. That there is a hope of everlasting life which I can only find in Jesus. That was my first step in faith, but it required me to choose. I am discovering that Choice walks hand in hand with Faith. I can only grow my faith if I make choices and one of those are to control my natural human emotions and not let it overcome me, no matter what my situation.
Paul writes in his first letter to Thessalonia reminding them of the following:
Thessalonians 5:16 – 18
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (ESV)
All of this is only possible through choice. Choice means to wake up in the morning and decide: How do I approach this day? Am I going to let difficulties in my life overpower everything in and around me, or am I going to focus on what is good in my life and give thanks where thanks is due? Part of maturing in our faith is when that choice becomes a daily exercise.
Faith is a conscious decision to put your hope in the unknown and unseen, but to grow and mature that faith to the extent where we find an inner peace with God requires a daily exercise where we choose to rejoice and give thanks in all our circumstances.