Joy…Always the Right Choice

June 30, 2024

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Have you ever felt like your spiritual life is just going through the motions? Maybe you’re doing all the right things but not experiencing the vibrance you once did in your walk with the Lord. Today, let’s explore a key ingredient that will infuse new vivacity into your daily life…JOY!

Joy is far more important in a believer’s life than people realize. Deuteronomy 28:47-48 says, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore shall you serve your enemies…” In other words, when we don’t serve the Lord with joy and gladness of heart, we serve our enemies by default. I don’t know about you, but I am not the least bit interested in serving my enemy in any way, shape, or form.

I just returned from a ministry trip to the Navajo Nation, which was truly inspiring. Their deep respect for their heritage is intertwined with their unwavering love and dedication to the Lord. They embody the spirit of Deuteronomy 28:47, serving the Lord with joy and gladness of heart. While their songs were familiar to me, they used their native instruments to make a joyful noise to the Lord, which was beautiful.  

During a time of praise and worship, a group began shouting to the Lord using their native cry, and you could sense the presence of God so strongly in the room. As Psalm 22:3 tells us, “God inhabits the praises of His people.”

As you’re probably aware, certain Native Americans were known for their war cry that would absolutely paralyze their enemy. Did you know the same thing is true for you as a believer? Your shout unto God with the voice of triumph is your war cry! This triumphant shout exudes joy, and when done, we paralyze our enemy by striking him in the heart.

Many people think joy is a feeling or the result of pleasant circumstances, but that is wrong thinking. Joy is something we actively choose, and Isaiah 12:3 says it is with joy that you draw water from the wells of salvation. The vastness of salvation within these wells cannot be drawn upon without joy. What must we do? Choose joy!

Choosing joy will transform your life in every arena. Think about your closest relationships. What makes them strong and enduring? It’s the joy and laughter you share. My wife and I have been married for over 50 years, and we laugh much together.

Joy acts as a binder and strengthener in relationships; the same is true in your relationship with God. When you purposefully serve God with joy, your relationship with Him strengthens and flourishes.

Another powerful aspect of joy is how it transforms our giving. When we give joyfully, we’re not just fulfilling an obligation but participating in God’s work with a glad heart. In a recent service at my home church, the Lord dealt with me to up my joy level in life, especially when giving.

In obedience, I decided to try something that week while I was in Arizona. I was staying at a hotel next to Denny’s Restaurant, and I walked over for breakfast each morning. My breakfast bill totaled $20.17 the first morning, and I left the server a $20 tip. She was shocked and so thankful. I always leave good tips, but this time was different because of the joy behind it. The next day when I walked in, she saw me and came straight to me. Again, my bill was $20.17, and I left her another $20 tip. Again, she was over-the-moon thrilled.

When I walked over the third morning, she was looking for me. Once again, my bill was $20.17. This time, I gave her a $50 tip. She could hardly believe it. Then I also gave the cook and the lady checking me out a tip. Based on their reactions, I am sure that if I ever return to this Denny’s, they’ll remember who I am.

While the people receiving these tips were thrilled, I truly got the most out of it. Adding joy to these kinds of routine gestures keeps us aware and in a flow of the bottomless well of salvation within us. Remember, it’s with joy that we draw from it.

For quite some time, the Lord has spoken to me, “It’s time for the church to get its shout back!” In other words, it’s time to choose joy and shout unto God with a voice of triumph!

Friend, begin each day by choosing joy. It might sound simple, but it’s a powerful practice that will keep you ever aware of His goodness and presence in your life.


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