Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Courageous Joy (in)courage

Courageous Joy: Celebrating God's Goodness in Every Season

 Title: Courageous Joy: Celebrating God's Goodness in Every Season

Author: (in)courage

Publisher: Revell

Genre: Bible Study/Devotional


Discover how to delight in the Lord through every season

"Rejoice in the Lord always."

This familiar Bible verse is a command and an invitation, but we don't always see it that way. Often this encouragement to rejoice--to be joyful always--becomes just one more thing on our "be a good Christian" checklist. But what if it's actually a gift from God?

What if this emphasis on joy--echoed throughout Scripture and on T-shirts and tattoos--is for our good instead of a way for us to be good?

(in)courage is ready to unpack our joy misconceptions and discover together what delighting in God through every season of life really means. Courageous Joy is a six-week Bible study that will help you

· explore what God says about joy and the abundant life available in His repeated invitations to rejoice
· learn how you can truly count it all joy, even when the "all" you're living is not the "all" you were hoping for or expecting
· find joy so abundant that you're compelled to share it with everyone you encounter

Join your friends at (in)courage and become a woman of courageous joy one day, one step at a time.

My Review:

 I will not sign up for a Bible study unless I have time to be ALL in. I have learned that you will only get out of a study what you put into it. So, when I do a study I make sure that I do it all the way. I saw a post on Facebook a few weeks ago from Revell looking for people who were interested in being on a launch team for the book Courageous Joy by (in)courage. I had just finished up a study on Psalms and couldn't decide what to do next, so when I saw this, I was like "this is it, who doesn't need more joy right now?" This has been one of the best decisions that I have made this year.

"'Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!' (Phil.4:4CSB) It's a command. It's an invitation. It's a Bible verse and, for some of us, a song lyric we can't help humming each time we see the words."

Mary Carver is the one who wrote and put this book together, although quite a few women gave input and shared their stories (it takes a village).  While you will not see her name mentioned as the author I want to give her credit because she did a FABULOUS job. She had never written a Bible study before and I think that is HOW God used her, to give us ALL a fresh perspective on things that we have read so many times before. She has, however, written a book on joy before, called Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts, so she was/is very familiar with the topic of joy.

"Joy is a state of being rather than an emotion. It's choosing to clothe ourselves with an attitude of joy only accessed through the Holy Spirit."

The Courageous Joy Bible Study is a 6-week study, five days a week. Each week is a different theme relating to joy. Each day might take about 15 minutes, depending on how fast/slow you read, and how much you put into it. Each day starts with a story that goes along with that week's theme, followed by some questions that are great for self-reflection, looking up verses that pertain to that topic, and ends with a daily prayer. 

"I can't wait for the next time I get to explain that my joy comes from the Lord."

Today I finished week 5 day 2. Usually, by this point in a study, I am ready for it to be over. Some studies just seem to drag and I just want to move on. I am not at that point with this book! I want to slow down and savor it, I am SO not ready for it to end. Usually, when I am on a launch team I want to read the book/devotional quickly so I can do my review, but I refused to do more than a day at a time with this study, I did not want to rush it!

Mother Teresa also described joy, saying, "Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net by which we catch souls."

There has been something EVERY DAY in this study that has spoken to me. I have been challenged, convicted, wrecked (in a good way), emotional, and in awe of God. I am thankful that He brought me this opportunity just when I needed it. I am thankful for all the workers at (in)courage for producing studies like this one. I am thankful to Mary Carver for being willing to step out in faith, not knowing how this study would come together, but trusting that God would do what needed to be done. 

"I was finally learning to choose joy no matter my circumstances."

What is joy to you? What does it look like? How do you express it? Do you understand that it has nothing to do with our feelings and everything to do with having Joy IN the Lord? Do you have the joy of the Lord down in your heart? If not, I invite you to grab a copy of this Bible study and get started today! While it is geared toward women, there are undeniable truths that we all need to learn. I would recommend this study to anyone who needs/wants more joy in their lives and to have a deeper more fulfilling relationship with Christ. 

"Please keep my eyes and ears open for every bit of joy You have for me, Lord."

While I received an advance copy of this Bible study I am not required to give a positive review. I loved/am loving this study and believe you will as well. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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