Today I’m playing “The Glad Game” by channeling my inner Pollyanna and sharing these Bible verses about joy that will fill your heart with gladness.
If, like me, you’re a fan of the book or movie, you know that the glad game is a central part of the story of Pollyanna. Her father made up this game to teach her how to deal with the disappointments in her life. And he showed her that by focusing on the things that bring joy instead of sadness she could rise above and overcome any hardship.
Likewise, our Heavenly Father has given us the one tool we need to play our own version of the glad game, the Bible. It is through His Word that God teaches us how to overcome the difficult circumstances we are faced with every day. This verse from Philippians 4:8 has a very close relationship to the glad game as it tells us to focus on what is positive instead of what is negative …whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Our version of the glad game is not about pretending that we don’t know or see that there are bad things going on around us. Of course we do. But God commands us to not let negativity weight us down or take hold within us. But instead to put our thoughts and energy into the goodness that surrounds us. When we do, God will renew are hearts and minds. He will refresh our souls. And He will give us strength for the journey ahead.
We can chose joy over sorrow!
With that in mind, let’s play “The Glad Game” by looking at some scriptures about joy that are sure to fill our hearts with gladness.
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.
Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
1 Petr 4:12-13
Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
1 Peter 1:7-8
What I love most about Pollyanna is her infectious positivity. The joy she had quickly spread throughout her town and changed the hearts of everyone she met. All it only took to make a real impact was one little girl who had the gumption to share her worldview.
We can have that same gumption too. By allowing God’s Word to change us from the inside out, we can have a positive outlook and make a real impact for God’s kingdom. The fruit of the Spirit, love, joy and peace will follow us wherever we go. People will see the difference inside of us. And before we know it, the joy of the Lord will spread like wildfire to all those around us and have a lasting, positive effect in our communities.
I truly hope that these Bible Verses about joy will fill your heart with gladness and remind you of all that Jesus has done in your life. And I pray that everyone around you will feel the joy the Lord surrounding them today.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
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For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Grace is the free gift of God given to us because we believe in His Son. As Christians, we know that faith in Jesus is the only thing that saves.
But sometimes we get caught up in doing the work of the church. It seems that there are an unlimited number of opportunities to serve. Bible studies, potluck dinners, children’s church, choir, clothing giveaways, the list goes on and on. It’s enough to make your head spin! With all of that work, it’s easy to feel that we are earning our salvation. But no matter what we do, we can never earn our salvation and we most definitely cannot out work what Jesus did for us on the cross!
Even though good works don’t save us, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do them. This verse in Ephesians says that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works” and James 2:17 states that “faith without works is dead”. So if we can’t work our way to salvation, what does that mean? Faith and works go together. You can’t have one and not the other. If we have the Holy Spirit within us, then good works should come naturally for us. Faith in Jesus Christ is what gives us salvation, but works are the fruit of our faith.Faith in #JesusChrist is what gives us salvation, but works are the fruit of our faith. #Grace #BibleStudyClick To Tweet
Because of what Jesus has done for us, we should have a desire in our hearts to do good works. We have an opportunity every day to make a huge impact on someone’s life through our faith and our works. When they see us, they should see the Holy Spirit in us. Our good works should be a light so bright that they can’t help but see Jesus!
James goes on to speak of Abraham’s willingness to follow God’s instruction to sacrifice Isaac. “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” (James 2:22) The footnote in my New King James Study Bible says “Faith produces works; and works makes faith perfect.” Just like Abraham, our faith will be made perfect by our willingness to follow God’s instructions in our lives and through our good works.
Honestly, knowing that I can’t work my way into heaven takes a lot of pressure off. I don’t have to push myself to exhaustion working until I drop or pretend that I’m perfect, knowing that I’m not. I can just be still and know that God is in control, listen for His instructions and follow His will. And I can rest assured that God has given me the free gift of grace and salvation because I have faith in His Son.
We will never be able to live up to the selfless example that Jesus set for us on the cross. But we can show God’s grace to an unsaved world through our faith in Jesus and our love of doing good works in His name. So when we get caught up in the busy day to day work of the church, let’s remember where our salvation truly comes from and give credit to the Savior of our souls! Let’s thank God that we have been saved by grace.
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Would you like to fully grasp the meaning of deep calls to deep? It is a longing from deep inside of us to understand what is deep inside of God. To be close to Him and have a real fellowship with the One true God.
There will be times when it seems like the waves are taking us down and we’re sinking fast under the weight of life’s demands. But God’s promises are still true. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is still there, lifting us up and keeping our heads above water. So, if you feel like you are drowning, stand firm on the promises of God. As you ponder the meaning of this verse I encourage you to go deeper and let God’s love pour over you like a waterfall. He is calling you deeper.