Do you ever feel like you may consider mutiny if one more assignment is due in the next month?

Do you ever feel like it’s not only your day that is going bad, but your entire life?

Do you ever feel like everything is just spinning out of your control?

I heard something on the radio a while back. The announcer and his guest were talking about the Bible and shouting for joy. I don’t know about you, but I normally shout with pain when I am suffering, not for pain. So maybe what God is trying to tell us is that we need to be searching for joy. Shouting for joy.

Rebekah Straw is a sophomore at Corban.

Rebekah Straw is a sophomore at Corban.

Psalm 71:23 says, “I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me.” The word “ransom” means to obtain the release of a prisoner by making a payment demand. When Jesus came to earth in the form of a human, He ransomed us by dying on the cross and giving the payment that death demanded. This verse is saying that we need to be shouting for the joy that we have because we don’t have to face eternity in hell.

It may be easy to be joyful when the news is as good as this, but what about the days when you get a test back and barely passed? The good news of us not having to burn in hell for eternity is still there, but it may not be in the forefront of our minds.

I think joy is a choice. No, it’s not an easy choice, but it is a choice. There will always be times in your life when it’s going to seem impossible to choose joy. Times when it seems like nothing good is happening in your life at all. Times when there is one bad situation making the other good in your life hard to see.

Even during those times, you can choose joy. You can still find things in your life that are good, things that will make you joyful if you focus on them. Maybe it’s something as simple as a flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk, or a stranger’s smile. Maybe it’s something bigger, like the fact that you have a God who loves you beyond anything you could ever imagine.

I’m not saying you have to ignore a problem, but you don’t need to dwell on it. I think most of the time, we focus on the bad things and occasionally think about the good things. Instead, we need to be focused on the good things, and occasionally think about the bad things.

Someone once said, “The secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.” So today, in the midst of papers and deadlines and computers that won’t work, I am challenging you to seek God and to shout for joy.