Make joy your first choice

September 10, 2019

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

EDT search team ‘moving closer’ to recommending candidate

The search committee charged with finding the next leader of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is “moving closer” to recommending a final candidate to North Carolina Baptists as the next executive director-treasurer. Search committee chairman Noah Crowe provided an...

‘The mission moves forward’

North America is a mission field of complex cultures and diverse religious practices. Missionaries here face challenges from secularism to language barriers to a historic health crisis. Yet, in spite of the obstacles, God’s mission always moves forward. Your partnership helps make...

Deadline extended to recommend individuals to serve

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Committee on Nominations has voted to extend the deadline to submit recommendations for individuals to serve in various leadership roles with the state convention and its related entities.Recommendations will now be accepted...

8 strengths of plural leadership

Several years ago a pastor friend from a nearby Baptist church invited me to share with his congregation some biblical teaching on plural elder leadership. As I waited for the service to begin that evening, a display in the church’s foyer caught my attention. It was the original...

6 questions to reframe your ministry vision after COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all into new rhythms. Stay-at-home orders for all but the most essential of professionals, caregivers and service providers have dramatically impacted families, businesses and government. Churches are not immune from this impact. Social...

Top 5 resources for March 2021

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Seeking sending churches

One of the biggest obstacles to planting effective new churches is a lack of qualified, prepared planters. In recent times, before COVID-19, I sat in a room with evangelical church planting leaders from across the nation. In presentation after presentation these national leaders...

‘Reimagine’ resource addresses today’s realities, tomorrow’s possibilities

How does your church see this COVID moment? On a recent webcast by the Barna Group titled “Caring for Souls in a New Reality,” panelists posed the question, “Is this an interruption or a disruption?” An interruption means that this is only a temporary interference in our lives,...

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 *

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!