January 10, 2024

Choosing Joy

Written by Boyd Bailey

Worry and joy in the Lord cannot coexist.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 10, 2024

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4

I am learning that worry and joy in the Lord cannot coexist; worry is not welcome where joy is the hostess. The same goes for being angry; a hot head cools under the influence of a calming, joyful heart. Paul is writing to the church at Philippi to remind the sisters and brothers in Christ not to allow the conflict from their differences to define their relationship. Different perspectives born from a variety of life experiences are meant to mold us more like Christ if we learn in love to value each other’s uniqueness. Of course, sinful behavior needs to be addressed and corrected, but how many times could bad behavior have been avoided if a joyful focus on Jesus was the conversational starting point? Not naively ignoring the discomfort but keeping accusations at bay and choosing a better way. A joyful attitude elevates discussions in loving respect for others.

Why even fret for five minutes if we can start by rejoicing in the Lord? Rejoicing for how He provides for our wants and needs. Rejoicing for His Word, a personal love letter penned in Scripture, is a guiding light for our lives. Rejoicing in rich relationships gives us a healthy understanding that we are beloved by our heavenly Father. Rejoicing in our assurance of salvation in Jesus Christ. Rejoicing in hard times, knowing He walks with us through the shadows of suffering and the dread of death. Rejoicing is the Spirit’s remedy for healing. 

The act of rejoicing is not merely a fleeting emotion but a deliberate choice to find joy in God’s presence and promises. In doing so, you align yourself with a source of unwavering love, guidance, and grace. The Bible encourages believers to “rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16), highlighting the transformative power of joy in various circumstances. This practice fosters a grateful heart, cultivating contentment regardless of external conditions. Furthermore, rejoicing in the Lord strengthens your faith, serving as a reminder of His sovereignty and faithfulness. It provides a solid foundation for resilience in the face of challenges, as the joy rooted in God transcends temporal difficulties. In community, shared rejoicing creates bonds among believers, growing a sense of unity and encouragement. Ultimately, embracing joy in the Lord leads to a deeper understanding of divine love, peace that surpasses understanding, and a life marked by gratitude and spiritual abundance. I’ll close with Henri Nouwen’s insights into joyful persons:

Joyful persons do not necessarily make jokes, laugh, or even smile. They are not people with an optimistic outlook on life who always relativize the seriousness of a moment or an event. No, joyful persons see with open eyes the hard reality of human existence and, at the same time, are not imprisoned by it. They have no illusion about the evil powers that roam around, “looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8), but they also know that death has no final power. They suffer with those who suffer, yet they do not hold on to suffering; they point beyond it to an everlasting peace.

Indeed, joyful living happens in hard times and good times; looking to the Joy Giver!


Heavenly Father, in my pain, give me your sweet joy so my spirits are lifted by your Spirit through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name. Amen


Consider praise and worship songs for the Holy Spirit to joyfully lift your spirits.

Related Reading

Psalm 32:11; Proverbs 10:28; John 16:24; Philippians 4:4

Worship Resource

Tauren Wells, Elevation Worship: Joy in the Morning


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