Are you seeking more joy this season? Joy may feel just out of your reach. However, with God’s power, you can choose joy and make it part of your life. Many people who are going through a hard season don’t feel like joy is possible. You may be dealing with sadness, anger, or grief. But if you are a Christian, joy can be in the mix of emotions you are feeling. It can help you heal from the harder emotions.
How to Choose Joy
Joy is a choice. It’s a fruit of the Spirit that the Holy Spirit bears in us (Galatians 5:22-23). But we can quench that gift if we don’t cultivate it with intention.
The devil will tempt you to choose sin instead of joy. As you hide God’s Word in your heart, you will be able to fight back when negative thoughts threaten you and the devil tries to take you down.
By meditating on these verses daily, you can choose joy even if you are facing difficult circumstances. Joy does not depend on our feelings; rather, joy is something God gives us as we trust him. You will trust God more when you decide to fight back against negativity by choosing joy.
Let’s look at 10 Bible verses on joy from the New International Version and how they apply to our lives.
For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15
Our God wants us to take the time to celebrate. The ancient Israelites did this at harvest time. We have holidays and birthdays as markers of celebration. However, you do not need to wait for a designated holiday to celebrate. You can celebrate the little accomplishments in life and gain greater joy from doing so. What is worth celebrating in your life right now, no matter how small?
They ate and drank with great joy in the presence of the Lord that day. Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the Lord to be ruler and Zadok to be priest. – 1 Chronicles 29:22
In this passage, the people of God experienced joy as they ate and drank together in celebration of Solomon’s kingship. Sharing meals with others can spark joy in our lives. Who might you invite to dinner to experience greater joy?
For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel. – Ezra 6:22
Has the Lord ever reversed something bad in your life? That’s an event worth celebrating. Even if it was a small matter, you can choose to celebrate with joy in the moment. Reflect on ways the Lord has reversed situations for your favor and rejoice in him for his grace.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. – Psalm 5:11
We can choose joy as Christians because God is our protection. He is a safe place for us, especially when we feel weary, sad, or fearful. When you meet God in this safe place through prayer, pour out all your feelings before him, good or bad. Then tell him you are choosing joy because he is protecting you.
Perhaps you feel as if you’ve lost your joy because you can’t see the path ahead. However, if you ask God to guide you moving forward, you can choose joy as he leads you with his loving presence.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. – Psalm 16:11
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. – Psalm 19:8
Maybe joy seems out of reach because your circumstances seem out of control. However, God’s ways never change. His Word is always true. He is your anchor in every circumstance. If you read, study, and meditate on the Bible every day, you will find greater joy to sustain you.
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. – Psalm 30:11
If you are in a season of suffering, it will not last forever. That is good news! God is with you when you are hurting, and he’s already standing on the other side of your hurt. This is a reason for you to rejoice now, even if your hard season isn’t over.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. – Psalm 65:8
Spending time in nature is scientifically proven to increase joy. Pick a time to sit outside on your porch, take a walk, or visit a park. If you do this daily, the cells in your body will be rejuvenated, and you will experience an increase in the feel-good hormones in your body. These hormones will transfer a more joyful feeling to your brain, so you’ll be better equipped to choose joy, though the weather or your life situation may not be perfect.
There are several truths about joy to unpack in this short verse. Joy is related to hope because we can hope in the better things God has in store for us. Joy is linked to patience because we may not see our hopes realized right away. We need to wait on God’s perfect timing to deliver us from our afflictions and choose joy even in those hard seasons.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – Romans 12:12
Joy is related to faithfulness because we must intentionally choose it day after day. Finally, joy is linked to prayer since we need to be in conversation with God over all our attitudes and feelings. This verse commands us to be joyful, and we can choose joy with God’s help.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. – 1 Peter 1:8
As Christians, the joy that never fades for us is attached to the promise of heaven. When you are feeling down about what is going on in your life today, you can always spend a few moments thinking about what heaven will be like. The Bible tells us there will be no sorrow or pain there (Rev. 21:4), and we will see Jesus face to face.
We will also be reunited with other believers of all time, including the ones we knew and loved in our lifetimes. Thoughts of heaven can buoy your faith when you feel like joy is out of reach.
When You Need Help to Choose Joy
As we have learned, God commands us to choose joy as believers. He supplies joy to us as a fruit of the Spirit. But you may need help choosing joy if you are going through a tough situation.
Sometimes we need to get other feelings out of the way first so choosing joy is more possible. The counseling team at Seattle Christian Counseling will listen to you talk through all your feelings so you can experience greater joy in your life. Contact us today to set up your first appointment.
“Joy”, Courtesy of Kolby Milton, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Woman Laughing”, Courtesy of Allef Vinicius, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Splash”, Courtesy of Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Find Joy In Everything”, Courtesy of Taylor Heery, Unsplash.com, CC0 License