Bible teacher and author Angela Thomas speaks to thousands of women each year, calling them to a deeper faith and understanding of God's Word. Her recent book, Choosing Joy, encourages women to practice joyful living, even when life is anything but happy. And she definitely knows a thing or two about choosing joy in the midst of difficult circumstances. TCW asked her to tell us more about how she's discovered joy in her own troubles and how we can all do the same.
You've experienced some difficulty in your life.
I've had a broken journey—divorced, eight years as a single mom, and now remarried. It wasn't the life I intended or would have chosen, but in the brokenness I had a choice. I could allow bitterness to take over or I could trust God and choose joy. It would have been easy to rationalize bitterness because things hadn't been fair and I'd been desperately wounded.
But the Lord reminded me that every one of his promises still holds. He is able to do infinitely more than I could ask, imagine, or hope. He still works all things together for good. He still forgives, redeems, and heals. He is still my Savior, heaven is still mine, and I'm on my way home. So the question became: How now will I live for the glory of God?
And the answer to that question?
By dealing with my bitterness. It was a choice. How much better for my children if they lived with a mom who was redeemed rather than an empty shell of a person counting her bitterness? Death or life, which one do you want? I want life.1