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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Defiant Joy

Stasi Eldredge is a New York Times bestselling author.  Her books have sold more than 3 million copies and changed women's lives all over the world.  A teacher and conference speaker, Stasi is the director of the women's ministry at Ransomed Heart and leads Captivating retreats internationally.  Her passion is to see lives transformed by the beauty of the gospel.  She and her family make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

We are called to live.  And, miraculously, to live with joy.

We all spend a lot of energy reaching for happiness, but we are never quite able to hang on to it.  Real life happens, and our circumstances take us on an emotional rollercoaster ride.  So the Bible's call to "be joyful always" sounds almost crazy - and out of reach.  But it doesn't have to be.
Joy is meant to be ours, a joy that is defiant in the face of this broken world.  This joy is not simply happiness on steroids; it's the unyielding belief that sorrow and loss do not have the final say.  It's the stubborn determination to be present to whatever may come and to interpret both goodness and grief by the light of heaven.
Stasi Eldredge invites us with courage, candor, and tender vulnerability to a place beyond sadness or happiness.  She shows us how to maintain a posture of holy defiance that neither denies nor diminishes our pain but dares to live with expectant, unwavering hope.

My Thoughts:
The past couple of years have been hard for our family.  Life has just been heavy and at times I've been so overcome with anxiety, I haven't been able to breathe.  Eldredge's book, Defiant Joy, could not have come my way at a better time.
"Defiant means to stand against the tide.  It means to go against the flow, even when the flow is composed of a strong current of despair and difficulty."
Eldredge's genuine sharing of her own story and transparency regarding her fight to hang onto joy has been a balm to my soul.  She holds high where the source of our joy comes from - Jesus.
"And then we turned our hearts to the One Who is our hope in the face of loss and untold grief.  Because of Jesus - His death, His resurrection, and His ascension - we chose to honor Him and celebrate that He has won and is winning still."
I appreciated the candor in which Eldredge shared truths from God's Word and how they transformed her mind and heart and have emboldened her to be defiantly joyful.
" By the life of Christ in us, we oppose death and destruction.  We dissent by casting our vote against the belief that sorrow and endless suffering win.  Instead we welcome life, love, and the full work of Christ to bring all of His goodness into every aspect of our and His domains.  We comply with truth.  We obey our God.  We respect His authority and His final say.  We overcome evil with good.  We defy hatred by embracing love.  We choose joy."
If you find it hard at times to be "joyful always"...Eldredge's book will and the truth she shares will be a welcoming salve and encouragement.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions here are my own.