Today’s Truth

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10, NKJV).

Friend to Friend

Jesus lived and died so we can experience abundant life, a life exuding joy, and a life so full that others crave to know the source of that fullness.

Jesus did not come so we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. Jesus came to be our joy.

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10, NKJV).

Someone once said, “Joy is the flag that flies above the castle of our hearts indicating that the King reigns within.” If those words are true, why are so many women living lives with little or no joy? Maybe we have bought the lies of the enemy, allowing him to steal our joy.

Discouragement, weariness, disillusionment, shattered dreams, and unrealized goals are some of his favorite weapons. But the truth is that the enemy can only use what we allow him to use.

Are you fighting the same battles you have been fighting for years?

Are you clinging to familiar pain, and trying to find your identity there?

Is your joy buried under a mountain of self?

Oh, I have so been there.

No more.

It is time for us to reclaim surrendered ground.

Joy is not the result of outward circumstances. Joy is an inside job, a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control. Every trial or loss, every defeat or victory measured against this confidence can be counted as joy. The decision is ours to make.

The Apostle Paul was a man of great joy. By human terms, he had every right to be angry and bitter. Persecuted, imprisoned, and facing His own death, Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13, NIV).

Wow! Like Paul, we can learn to be joyful.

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

We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy. The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice. Our inward perspective does not have to reflect our outward circumstances. We can choose joy!

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, a baseball cap on his head and a ball and bat in his hands. He was muttering, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung at it, and missed. “Strike one!” He picked up the ball, threw it into the air, and said to himself, “I’m the greatest hitter ever!” He swung at the ball again. “Strike two!” He paused, examined his bat and ball, and threw the ball into the air, missing a third time. He cried out, “Wow! I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”

Yes, the pursuit of joy is a matter of choice and perspective. It is also a matter of obedience. As Christians, one of our spiritual priorities should be joy.

“One ship sails east.

One ship sails west.

Regardless of how the winds blow,

It is the set of the sail

And not the gale

That determines the way we go.”

(Author unknown)

Set your sails for joy! Celebrate! Revel in who God is, in what He has done, and in what He is doing and will do in your life when you choose joy.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You with a heart full of praise. Forgive me when I doubt Your work in my life. Please help me walk by faith – not by sight. Teach me to see my daily life through Your eyes and show me how to live in Your joy.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

How would you define joy? Would the people who know you best describe you as a woman of joy?

What is blocking the flow of God’s joy in your life? Is it a sin you need to confess? A relationship you need to make right or a step of obedience you need to take?

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what action you need to take to experience His joy.

More from the Girlfriends

You were created for joy. I know life can be painful, but God’s plan for an abundant life takes that pain into account. Learning to fully trust God is the foundation of a life of joy.

Need help? Check out Mary’s book, 10-Day Trust Adventure and other resources on her website. Connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.



© 2021 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

4 Responses to “Set Your Sails for Joy”

  1. Kristing says:

    “the enemy can only use what we allow him to use … joy is a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control.” I have been struggling during this time of uncertainty – where what appears to be good has so much negative associated with it, where bad keeps popping up all around us. I guess that’s how it has been throughout time, but it is hard to remember when you are in the middle of it. But God is in control. I have held on to that during personal times of struggle in my life. Now I need to hold on during our societal time of struggle. Thank you for the message to Choose Joy.

  2. Djay says:

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1916, is the author of the poem.
    “Tis the Set of the Sail”

  3. Carolyn says:

    What a wonderful devotional today ~ Thank You 🙂

  4. Jessica says:

    Wow! What an awesome truth and what a great example we have in Paul and Jesus. Thank you!! Blessings!!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8