Make joy your first choice

June 29, 2021

The world around us is dark. It is so easy for our joy to seep slowly out of us as we observe the sin that surrounds us. Five minutes scrolling through a news site or reading the local paper shows us more than enough to make us stick our heads in the sand just to make it through the day. We can go through life in an apathetic daze, but we are called to more.

Philippians 4:4 reads, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Paul considered joy so important, he reminded us to rejoice twice in one verse! How many songs do we teach our children about the joy in our heart that nothing can destroy? We proclaim every year at Christmas that, because of the arrival of our Savior, the world should be full of joy. In a song of praise to the Lord after hearing about some difficult times to come, Habakkuk 3:18 says, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

So how do we make joy our first choice each day? Here are a few things I try to do continually to help me remember my joy, which comes from the Lord:

  1. Keep your eyes in the Word — I recently started a year-long Bible reading plan that has radically changed my perspective. Keeping our minds focused on the blessings and words of our Lord each day reframes our outlook.
  2. Breathe through your nose — It’s hard to breathe through your nose with your mouth open. Oftentimes, we rob ourselves of joy by spending our time voicing our hurt, our complaints or our frustrations without first taking it to our Great Counselor.
  3. Lift up your voice in song — One of the best things I’ve done is create a Spotify playlist called “To Remind Me Whose I Am.” When I feel the chaos of my own life starting to steal my joy, I turn on this playlist and listen to songs that remind me.
  4. Lean on fellow believers — I cannot describe the blessing that my accountability group brings to me on a weekly basis. We meet once a week to share prayer requests, encourage each other, and maintain our focus on the glory of God rather than our circumstances. Regardless of situations that arise, my sisters remind me to consider it all joy!
  5. Serve on bent knees — Some of the moments of greatest joy come from serving others, even in the midst of personal turmoil. When you set aside the pressure of your own life for your neighbor, there is a special kind of blessing that comes from humbling yourself in service.
  6. Remember your salvation — The source of our joy comes from knowing the inheritance we have in the Lord. By continually reminding ourselves of the grace that our Lord gave us when we were so undeserving, we can remember the precious source of our unending joy.


by Kailyn Eskridge/  Strategic Focus Team  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...

1 Comment

  1. phyllis R Bennett

    Amen! Serve on bent knees. Be in prayer always – before and during planning; after as the plan begins to materialize; during the event; and finally, pray that God’s glory is seen in every action, word and follow-up activity. Continue to pray that hearts are transformed by the Holy Spirit; and that participants hearts are filled with a willingness to serve their Lord and Savior.
    God Bless,
    Phyllis Bennett
    Highland Baptist Church
    Raleigh, NC

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!