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And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve. (Josh. 24:15)

God has made us free moral agents with the privilege of making choices. During the holidays, many people surrender to the stress and pressures that seem to come with buying gifts and entertaining family and friends; however, they can choose to make any holiday season—or any season at all—a joyous time.

You can make the decision to have a blessed, peaceful, and joyful time no matter what. Although the situation may not appear to be peaceful or even blessed, you can be n your heart and attitude. The choice is yours!

As Christians, we have made the decision to follow God. But have we made the decision to follow Him as Jesus did? Are we following Him in complete submission to His will? We are the result of all the choices we make in our lives. If we don't like the decisions we have made, we can't blame God. The good news is that we can choose to change them today.

It is your choice to be either negative or positive, happy or sad, mad or glad, haughty of humble, hateful or grateful. If you will just choose to let Jesus express Himself through you, you will experience peace and joy—not just during the holidays, but throughout the year. Let Jesus talk through you, love through you, give through you, and heal through you. In this way, you can influence others to have peace and joy as well.

It is not always easy to choose God's way, but His way always proves to be the best. The key is to walk in the Spirit and constantly put down the flesh and any offenses that come. I told Happy one day, "You know, it is easier to grow up physically that it is spiritually." Oh sure, there are problems with growing up physically, but the problems we encounter in our spiritual growth can cause us to stumble and fall short of the things of God.

In Galatians 5:19-26 we see the difference between waling in the flesh and walking in the Spirit. You might say, "Dear me, I'm not going to murder anyone or get drunk or commit adultery." But what about strife? Hatred? Envy? Variance and discord? Offenses? Resentment? Crucifying the flesh in these areas is often much harder!

As Christians we are to strive to walk in the Spirit and crucify the flesh. It is possible to be a mature Christian in these areas, because God would not tell us to do something if we could not do it!

One way to walk in the Spirit is to pray in the Spirit. That will bring your soul and body into subjection to your spirit. Then you will know the mind of God as He brings His thoughts to you. You will know what to say and how to act as you look to Him, and His power and love will help you choose peace in every situation.

Psalm 37:23 says, The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. He will give you the ability to say, "My God is able and so am I."

One day when I was teaching a ladies Bible study, I taught how we can find more excuses for why other people are happy. Have you every said, "Sure they are happy. They are rich." Or, "Of course they are happy, they have children." Or, "I would be happy too is my spouse went to church with me."

Yet true happiness and joy come from God, the all-sufficient One as you make the moment-by-moment decisions to trust Him. He is your joy, for He is love and He is life.

Make the choice to look to Him and you will be blessed during every holiday season and the entire year!

Source: Learning to Trust God's Faithfulness by Jeanne Caldwell
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jeanne Caldwell
Web site: Agape Church
Pastor Emeritus, founders and pastors of Agape Church from its founding in 1979 to 2014. Happy and Jeanne Caldwell. In 1979 God spoke to Happy & Jeanne Caldwell to build a spiritual production center in Little Rock, in order to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the city, state, nation and world. Together, they founded Agape Church, a strong spirit-filled body of believers. Through a deep sensitivity to the Spirit of God, and anointed teaching - the lost are saved, the sick healed, and thousands have been blessed. In 1988 Happy and Jeanne answered a direct call from the Lord to take His message beyond Central Arkansas. They founded VTN - the Victory Television Network. This network of 3 full power TV stations is carried on over 200 cable systems and is bringing the Gospel into more than 1.2 million households. Jeanne's ministry transcends nationality, race, culture, and generation as her passion to see women transformed into ladies who are pruned, polished, and perfected by the Word of God and her down-to-earth presentation assist others to have a personal encounter with God's Word.

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