Choose to Remember Joy

photo by Kai-jens Meyer

“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” Romans 12:15 ESV

Bitterness is like a weed that seeks to entwine itself around our soul and squeeze out our joy.

A child’s worldview is shaped by millions of moments, most of which he will forget. Even as adults, our minds can only retain so much. One memory crowds out the next.

We must choose our memories.

Each heart “knows its own bitterness.” We all face trials and challenges in our Christian walk. Sometimes they are big, sometimes small, but they are always present. Present to refine us, humble us, mold us and show us God’s mercy.

Looking back on the past though, we have a choice. The trials may be emblazoned on our memory. We must choose to not let their pain make us bitter, but to remind us of God’s mercy as He led us through it.

We must deal with the past. Repent of the sin. Work through the wrongs. But we cannot let the past poison the present.

We must choose to think on the ways that God showered us with His love in the past. To focus on the good times spent with our parents, rather than the few bad memories most children have. To treasure the many blissful moments as a wife, rather than stew over the few rough times. To treasure the hugs and giggles of toddlerhood, rather than begrudge the lost sleep and the drama and tears.

We must choose to remember joy. 

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  1. says

    So true.
    Off to get ready for a big day of cookie making with the kids and friends. I hope you have a delightfully wonderful day. 🙂 Love you!

  2. says

    What a wonderful thought for the day, Anna! A great reminder on the dangers of nursing our wounded pride or secret grudges.

    I will stick up a little for our miseries though! Remembering our bitter times does not have to lead to bitterness. I often get far more spiritual mileage when I remember both: a difficult time and the ultimate joy it led to – God’s ultimate plan even in the face of my unhappiness. Does that make sense?

    You are, as always, an astute observer of the human condition. Love reading you!!

    • anna says

      Oh Marti-you expressed perfectly what I was trying to say.We shouldn’t forget the bitter times because God works through them. Myrrh is crushed to release the beautiful fragrance.Sometimes the sweetest times with God are the most difficult…we just can’t let the pain crowd out the Joy God was working through those times.

  3. says

    What a perfect post for today, Dec 7; Pearl Harbor Day.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours; God’s blessings on the work of your hands and heart.
    Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

  4. Kasey says

    Absolutely perfect post!! It is so easy to drag our pasts along with us. And you rightfully dubbed it a “poison”! Our past helps shape and mold who we currently are, for the better or worse, but it does not need to define us. Thank you for the wonderful reminder!!

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