Joy is a choice. No one else is responsible for my joy. Praise and rejoicing are joy’s constant companions.

Let’s pretend I’m an attorney arguing a case in court, and you are the jury. As the gavel sounds calling the court to order, I step forward.

Members of the jury, thank you for participating in this landmark case. Here’s the issue before us: joy is a choice.

As I present my case, I will use the words joy, praise, and rejoicing interchangeably.

You will find my evidence credible and convincing as I read from a respected document, the Holy Bible, the infallible Word of God. The testimonies you will hear are recorded within these pages.

We’ll begin with David, giant slayer and King of Israel.

“My soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation” (Psalm 35:9).

“My mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5).

“Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee” (Psalm 5:11).

“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High” (Psalm 9:1-2).

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Psalm 57:7).

From these declarations I conclude joy, praise, and rejoicing are decisions.

The testimony of Isaiah, prophet of God, supports this conclusion.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10).

Next, we’ll hear from James, brother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Consider it a pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2 NIV).

Peter, a disciple of Jesus Christ, adds a powerful comment.

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13).

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, speaks with authority.

“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:3-5 NIV).

These testimonies confirm joy, praise, and rejoicing are a matter of perspective.

Concerning Habbakuk, prophet of God, I beg the court’s permission to make an observation here…this is as desolate as it gets.

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; The flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stall: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…” (Hab. 3:17-19).

These statements verify that joy, praise, and rejoicing result from confidence in God.

Before I present my closing statement, King David will speak again.

“Thou wilt show me the path of life. In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).

This corroborates that joy, praise, and rejoicing flow in the Lord’s presence.

To summarize my case:

  • Joy, praise, and rejoicing are decisions.
  • Joy, praise, and rejoicing are a matter of perspective.
  • Joy, praise, and rejoicing result from confidence in God.
  • Joy, praise, and rejoicing, flow in the Lord’s presence.

And now my closing statement: members of the jury, joy is a choice.

My recommendation: choose joy.

I rest my case.

© Dianne Barker 2019

Please comment on how you’ve chosen joy in your difficult journey. And I’d appreciate your sharing this with your friends!

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