Even without being a part of a review group, your portfolio is always one of my favorite places to visit. To spend time in and read. Also, I am not doing this for a merit badge, though your offer is very generous. Thank you for taking the time to read the letter I posted and to respond.
The Joy that passeth all understanding is indeed a wonderful place to be. I believe, its because when we are in that particular place, we are in the presence of Jesus and HE is our source of unimaginable peace. Well, makes sense since he is our Prince of Peace.
You point out and bring to focus on something very vital. Like many of our emotions, WE do have the capability to CHOOSE them. It is a discipline most have just never taken the time to develop and they allow their emotions to control THEM and they allow outside influences to control their emotions, rather than keeping control over them. No, controlling them is not easy and as I said, it is a discipline that must be learned and practiced. But, it IS within our capability if we choose to harness it. I'm still learning and have a long way to go yet.
You hit the nail on the head when you said, "Almost every time I shared this idea with someone, a storm hit in my own life and the time had come to make a choice and, thankfully, I consistently chose joy." Oh yes, that is because that ol devil loves nothing more than to steal the peace Jesus wants to give us! He dances with glee when our emotions run amuck and cause is turmoil, confusion and all kinds of upheaval. That's when he knows he has us firmly in HIS control. HE hates when we override him and make the CHOICE to keep our JOY and we let nothing stand between us and our Joy that GOD gives us. Why? Cos a peaceful heart filled with joy is also a heart unwilling to listen to his whispers.
I loved your article and how you expressed yourself. You write very well, and always with the touch of love that comes only from a person who is shining their light for Jesus. In all you write, you lift HIM up and for that, you are one of my favorite writers here.
With Sisterly Love in Christ,