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Choosing Joy

Not long ago I realized I was singing one of the most iconic Christmas carols incorrectly. “Joy To The World”, written by Isaac Watts in the early 1700’s, says, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come,” not, “has come.” I looked up the history of the song, and it turns out it was written about the second coming of Jesus and not the incarnation. Watts was concerned with the lack of joy he saw in Christians as they worshipped. He wanted to remind them to look past their current circumstances to the return of Christ when all things will be made right. 300 years later, it’s a good reminder for us as we live for Christ.

Romans 12:12 says, “Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times” (TPT). Joy is not something that is based on your circumstances. Joy is as much an attitude as it is an emotion. It keeps us focused on what is to come rather than what is. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It’s no wonder that the enemy of our soul is constantly trying to rob us of our joy. He knows that when he removes joy, it makes it hard to trust God. It makes serving God feel more like a chore than a privilege.

If you’re burdened down, going through a rough time, let hope burst forth within you today giving you joy. We know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28), and that struggles produce growth in us. Let the things that are trying to steal your joy push you into closer communion with God. Instead of blaming Him, thank Him for taking the time to grow you and make you more like Christ. Above all, remember that this too shall pass and the Lord will come again to make all things right. We can joyfully worship just as Job did no matter what we’re going through by keeping things in perspective. When all else fails, choose joy.

Photo by Preslie Hirsch on Unsplash

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Marked By Joy


If you ever watched Winnie the Pooh, you know who Eeyore and Tigger are. Their dispositions are completely opposite. Eeyore sees the negative in everything and us always down about something. He has The uncanny ability to turn good news into bad news. Tigger is always happy and bouncy. Maybe a little too happy, but he’s just a likable character because of his mood. He can find joy in just about any circumstance and find a reason to bounce around. 

As believers, our lives should be marked by joy. I don’t know that we need to be as bouncy and bubbly as Tigger is, but we definitely shouldn’t be like Eeyore. We have the joy of the Lord inside each one of us. Our joy is not dependent on our circumstances. It is a well deep within us that springs up life and gives us strength in the hardest times. I believe we need to get better at tapping into that well of joy so we can radiate hope in a pessimistic world. 

Here are some Bible verses on joy. 

1. You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy.
Psalm 30:11 GNT

2. Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. 
Romans 12:12 GNB

3. I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. 
John 15:11 AMP

4. Always be joyful. 
1 Thessalonians 5:16 NLT

5. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:11 GNT

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10 Scriptures On Joy

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1. Always be joyful. (1 Thessalonians 5:16 NLT)

2. Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary. (1 Chronicles 16:27 AMP)

3. “So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song. All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause. No more thistles, but giant sequoias, no more thornbushes, but stately pines— Monuments to me, to GOD, living and lasting evidence of GOD.” (Isaiah 55:12-13 MSG)

4. Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. (Romans 12:12 GNB)

5. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. (Psalms 126:5 NLT)

6. You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. (Psalms 30:11 GNB)

7. I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. (John 15:11 AMP)

8. Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NLT)

9. Then you will always trust in God and find that he is the source of your joy. (Job 22:26 GNB)

10. Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy! (Matthew 5:7 AMP)

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