Preoccupation with self

John Ortberg writes in his book, The Life You've Always Wanted,"...the thing that keeps me from experiencing joy is my preoccupation with self. The very selfishness that keeps me from pouring myself out for the joy of others also keeps me from noticing and delighting in the myriad small gifts God offers each day."

Do you experience joy in your day-no matter what the day holds for you? Are you choosing joy, as Paul speaks of in the New Testament? If you are not, you are missing out on so much! God uses our pain and suffering for so many reasons. One being to make our joy complete. It is hard to understand this if you have not suffered from chronic pain, but if you have had ongoing pain you know what it is like to have days where there doesn't seem to be anything to do except think upon the pain you feel. We become preoccupied with our self, and not in a way that is beneficial to ourselves or others. When we are preoccupied with our pain and suffering, we begin the downward spiral that is all too familiar in suffering. It goes something like this: I'm tired of being in pain-I can't do anything about it-why is this happening-what good is my life-I'm tired of dealing with pain...etc. In this time Satan uses our weakness against us as he always tries to do! "Joy, where are you?" I shout as if it will, just show up on its own and produce a peace I have never had. But you see, joy is something we experience when we get our mind off of ourselves in our pain. Pouring ourselves out to others opens our heart for joy, joy to serve God and love others. God offers small gifts to us each day. Are you looking for a way to be joyful today?


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