Scripture Reference: Luke 23:26-56 & 24:1-12

Joy is one of those words we hear and use often in Christian circles. We know songs like, “Joy to the World.” We know that joy is listed in Galatians with the fruit of the Spirit. We have memorized Nehemiah 8:10, “The Joy of the Lord is your strength.” Yet, do we consider how precious it is? Joy is precious because it’s a gift from God. It is not based on our circumstances at all. Even in the most difficult circumstances, we can still have joy. 

1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV) – Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

James 1:2-3 (NIV) – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.


How can we have joy in our lives? Better yet, how can we keep joy in our lives? Let’s unpack three practical ways to keep our joy.

1. Be Thankful – No matter what circumstances we face, we can keep our joy by being thankful. We can be thankful for Jesus and the fact that His joy is available to us.

Romans 15:13 (NIV) – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2. Forgive – When we have unforgiveness in our hearts, it steals our joy. It’s a good practice to decide ahead of time each day that you are going to forgive. The days we struggle with this, we can remember that the Lord has forgiven us. 

Colossians 3:13 (NIV) – Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

3. Serve Others -There is joy in serving others. We each have a gift that was given to us by God. Using our gifts to make a difference in the lives of others gets the focus off of us and brings us joy.

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) – Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.


  1. Why is it important to protect your joy?
  2. What practical steps are you going to personally take to keep your joy?
  3. Describe a time you served someone else with your God-given gifts. How did it make you feel?


Dear God, thank you for joy. Thank you that my joy is not determined by my circumstances. Today, I choose to embrace a life full of joy. I pre-decide to forgive. Show me ways to serve the people around me. Let my life be a testimony of the joy you freely give us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Persecuted Nation: #02 Afghanistan