There’s a beautiful promise found in Isaiah 35:10
“And those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
It speaks to God’s people having everlasting joy. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
I mean especially because we live in a world where it seems easier to choose anger and depression and sullen behavior, burying our heads in the sand … everything but joy.
Is God asking you to choose joy this year?
The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines joy as:
1. The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight
2. The expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
3. A state of happiness or felicity : bliss
4. A source or cause of delight
I love the way Paul’s letters begin and end. He never fails to highlight an attribute of God, whether it is peace, love or joy. This gives us a pretty good indication how God expects us to live.
I mean, come on, Jesus himself said that he has come that we may have life more abundantly. He certainly doesn’t mean a long life filled with strife and despair.
Here are five ways you can choose joy this year:
1. When you feel like your most grumpy of grumpy self, make a list of ten things that you’re grateful for.
2. Keep a gratitude jar. Get a mason jar and write down those things that make you happy. When you feel sad, read a few of them.
3. Spend some time in God’s word. A search of the New King James version on BibleGateway.com returned 192 results for the word joy. Read some of them.
4. Write some of your favorite “joy” verses from the activity above in your journal. Or if you’re feeling extra-creative, hand-letter those verses. Make a few funky designs and share them with your friends.
5. Take a walk through the Pauline epistles. Take note of every time the word “joy” or one of its synonyms appear. Try to figure out why Paul was so joyful given his experiences.
Bonus tip: Do a study of the Psalms taking note of all the times that rejoicing or thanksgiving take place.
This world is full of strive and tribulation but God’s people should live joyous lives, after all our hope is not in material things, our joy comes from the Lord.
Want even more ideas for one word resolutions? Check out our list here.