Last month I shared that “joy” was my word of the year for 2023. I got pretty honest about the reasons why and laid out my Bible verse for the year. “You will make known to me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11 ESV I made a screen saver for my phone with the passage (which you can steal from that post), and am committing it to memory. This is only one of my focus scriptures on joy.
Wanting to memorize more, I decided to choose a verse for every month of this year. The goal is to hide all 13 verses in my heart (Psalm 119:11).
So many of you either commented or talked to me personally about your need to go on this joy ride with me. I love that and pray that we will learn from each other and spur each other on (Hebrews 10:24). So I’m sharing with you the other 12 verses, in no particular order, that I’m feeling drawn to in my quest for the truth about joy. I hope they can be a source of joy and inspiration for you.
Joy In Obedience
“If you keep my commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and your joy may be full.” John 15:10-11 ESV The first part of the verse tells us how we can abide in God’s love – by obeying His commands. And in communion with God is deep joy.
Joy in God’s Refuge and Shelter
“But rejoice, all who take refuge in You, Sing for joy forever! And may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.” Psalm 5:11 NASB2020 Psalm 5 is a prayer of David for protection from the wicked, and our sin-soaked world today is just as full of wickedness. As believers we can find joy in God’s presence standing between us and anything that He cannot use for good.
Joy in Trust and Hope
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope and by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV I meditated on this passage two years ago as part of my focus on trust. I felt compelled to carry it over to my study of joy. The two are so intertwined.
Joy in Fellowship
“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” 2 John 12 NIV In studying what rest means to me last year, I came to the conclusion that fun is incredibly refreshing to me. That means being with my people. Both those I’m related to and those God placed in my life in other ways. Whether enjoying a meal, discussing a sermon, playing board games or watching a movie together – being with my friends and family fills my cup, as it obviously did the apostle John!
Joy in Jesus
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.'” Luke 2:10 NIV We usually read this verse at Christmas, but being reminded that Jesus came to rescue me causes me great joy all year long!
Joy Through Hardships
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 NIV I won’t try to convince you that hardships bring joy. They don’t. But I do know we can have joy in the midst of them. This is what I am asking the Holy Spirit to teach me, taking this head knowledge to heart knowledge. I have a feeling it has something to do with the hope we have in Jesus, combined with the patience and faithful prayer mentioned here.
Joy in My Children
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 4 NIV I find joy in my children often. When Shelby laughs and the room laughs with her, when Allie lights up a stage, and when my bonus son earns accolades on his way to being a doctor. But nothing compares to the front row seat I watch from as my teenager chases after Jesus with all of her heart. Happy tears came just this morning reading a recommendation letter written by someone who sees it too.
Joy When Anxiety Comes
“When anxiety was great within me your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19 NIV We only need pay attention to the news media for a few days to hear a story on the rise of anxiety in our country. And if you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I believe in bible-based counseling and medication when needed to treat this and other mental/emotional ailments. But what do I believe in more than these? The power of the Holy Spirit to soothe our souls.
Joy in the Scriptures
“Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” Psalm 119:111 NIV The longer I’ve walked with the Lord, the more personal His Word becomes to me. It is no longer just a collection of stories I was raised on, it is the best part of any day. I get giddy to cuddle up with my bible, a journal and study helps for as long as I am able. Bonus points if a cup of coffee or hot tea is involved.
Joy in Prayer
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24 NIV When we pray in accordance with God’s will, we receive what we ask for – God’s will. How fulfilling to not only be granted our request, but more importantly to be in the center of God’s will.
Joy in Right Living
“The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.” Proverbs 10:28 NIV There can be no true joy without peace. Moments of happiness, maybe. But not deep, long-lasting joy. That only comes to the light hearted, those unburdened with unforgiven or unconfessed sin. So as I delve into joy, I seek to keep as clear a conscience as possible with my Maker.
Joy in Song
“I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:2 NIV There is something about expressing thoughts and feelings in song that connects with us on a deep level. Teenagers seem to intrinsically know this, but I think we tend to minimize it as we get older and have more on our plates. God created us with the ability to make music so it makes complete sense when science proves that singing decreases stress and increases pleasure. So I’m making more time in my life for music that praises God and lifts my spirits.
Last month I offered you that screen saver as a bonus. Today I’m sharing a Joy playlist on Spotify. Some praise songs, some that just make me smile and put some pep in my step. And even though I tried to avoid all the different renditions of “Joy to the World”, I did include one version of the Christmas song. Phil Wickham’s is special.
So now I’m asking you to join the conversation. Do you have a scripture on joy to share? Or a song about joy or one that just makes you smile? Comment below. Let’s go on a joy ride.
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
Let’s keep talking about joy! While not currently depressed, I have been there in the not-too-distant past. Michelle Bengston’s The Journey from Depression into Joy encouraged me so much. And I think it will too, regardless of whether you are in a good place or a tough one.
The Link Up
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