As we step into a new season, may we have the wisdom and courage to lay aside the things that weigh us down. Let’s lighten our load and choose joy. Could it be that simple? Yes, and no!
Long before mechanization transformed the industry, my husband owned a seed cleaning plant. At that time, the export market preferred pulse crops bagged in one-hundred-pound grain bags. Often, our children and I joined in the labor. During the frigid cold of winter or the sweltering heat of summer, we toted and stacked those heavy bags. Our bodies ached under the load. My collar bone arched permanently outward from the repetitive pressure and overexertion.
Most often the weights we carry damage our hearts rather than our bodies. Burdens come unannounced. Tragedies strike without warning — a sudden death, financial collapse, marriage breakup, and more. The scenarios seem endless. Hearts easily become bent and scarred under the pressure.
Over 430 times, the Bible encourages us to choose joy. In contrast, the words “happy” or “happiness” only appear ten times. Joy refers to an inner settledness that sustains someone through hardship and trials. It is no wonder that when the Bible speaks of joy there is a direct connection to personal or corporate struggle. Feelings of happiness may quickly come and go, but joy endures.
20 Bible Verses
Let God’s Word inspire you as read and meditate on these verses:
Joy is an offering of praise to God — singing, shouting, and thanking Him. Psalm 95:1-2
Even the most difficult circumstances cause us to rejoice, knowing God will produce perseverance in us through them. James 1:2-3
God’s greatness inspires joyous celebration in people of every nation. Psalm 47:1
Because of who You are, O Most High God, joy will fill us! We will sing praises to You! Psalm 9:2
God loves and protects us. So, we will sing and praise Him with “shouts of joy.” Psalm 27:5-6
When sleep evades us, it presents a perfect opportunity to think about God with joyous praise. Psalm 63:6-7
Joy celebrates God’s goodness and kindness. Psalm 32:11
One day every source of sorrow will disappear. Joy and gladness will be our continuous portion. Isaiah 35:10
God, Himself, sings and shouts joyously over us, bringing breakthrough and victory. Psalm 32:7
“Ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory” belongs to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:8-9
Joy, prayer, and thanksgiving lead us into God’s perfect plan. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
No matter how dark the time of sorrow may be, it will give way to “shouts of ecstatic joy.” Psalm 30:5
God shows us the path to complete joy in His Word, the Bible. John 15:10-12
Even when everything seems to fall apart, we may still rejoice in who God is! Habakkuk 3:18
The Holy Spirit produces joy in those who believe in God. Galatians 5:22-23
Every new day give us a reason for joy! Psalm 118:24
We find the greatest source of joy in God’s Presence. Psalm 16:11
The joy God gives becomes our strength — like a walled fortress, protecting and supporting us. Nehemiah 8:10
God welcomes us to experience His joy, in every season. Philippians 4:4
Singing, shouting, praising, and thanking God through life’s trials and pressures induce a joy-filled life. God intends joy to become our spiritual normal. Is it easy? Not always! Is it possible? Absolutely!
Father, I ask that Your Word would settle deep within us, and that hope would arise. Many people reading this are facing tremendous opposition and enduring severe trials. Restore them and renew them, Lord. Give them fresh faith to choose the joy of Your Presence. May the fruit of joy produce spiritual maturity in each life. Father, even in the watches of the night, may joy and hope begin to spring up again. May everything that has been bent under the pressures of the past be made straight and whole. May Your joy become life and strength to each one. Thank You, Father, for your gift and provision of joy. We choose joy, receiving it today.