I woke up singing “The Joy of My Lord is my Strength” to myself. The other day I chose strife instead of joy, and the Lord has been chastening me because He loves me (Heb 12:6). I was drawn to a verse, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Prov 17:22) John Gill said, “Cheerfulness of spirit has a great influence upon the body, and much contributes to the health and welfare of it; and especially a heart full of spiritual joy, peace of conscience, flowing from the blood of Christ, joy in the Holy Ghost, a rejoicing in Christ Jesus and His righteousness, and in hope of the glory of God, much affect even the outward man.”

As I pondered this, I realize that I get to choose joy and gratitude. “Live joyfully with…which [God] has given you…for that is your portion in life…” (Eccl 9:9) No matter what inconveniences that come my way, I have joy because:

  1. I “have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1)
  2. I “have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom 5:2)
  3. I can “glory in tribulations” because it produces perseverance, character and hope (Rom 5:3-4)
  4. And “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us”. (Rom 5:5)

Alternatively, I can choose to have a broken spirit (when I give in to the lies of the enemy), “but a broken spirit dries the bones”. John Gill says, “a spirit broken…weakens the nerves, it dries up the marrow in the bones, and emaciates the body, and reduces it to a skeleton”. He continues, “the joy or grief of the mind, those passions of the soul, have a very great influence upon the body, either for its good or hurt”.

I choose to keep my eyes on “Christ in [me], the hope of glory” (Col 1:27) and rejoice that His love has been poured out into my heart. I choose joy! The lyrics of Joy by For King and Country speak to me:

Oh, hear my prayer tonight, I’m singing to the sky
Give me strength to raise my voice, let me testify
Oh, hear my prayer tonight, ’cause this is do or die
The time has come to make a choice

And I choose joy
Let it move you, let it move you, let it move you
Yeah, I choose joy
Let it move you, let it move, let it move you