“This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24, ESV)

C.S. Lewis powerfully penned, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” Unfortunately, joy isn’t always the serious business for us. Our joy has been repeatedly attacked and jeopardised at this time. Everywhere I look I see tired, discouraged leaders who have crawled to Christmas and now face the task of taking a deep breath to muster the courage to take on the challenges of a new year. Despite this, scripture repeatedly encourages us to rejoice and to operate in joy. How do we do this?
Let me offer 6 biblical encouragements at the start of this year to put into regular practice so that you thrive rather than survive in your leadership this year

1) Remember the One who rejoices over you

Let this verse bring you Joy as you bask in the knowledge of Gods love and delight in you. (Zephaniah 3:17) The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

2) Remember His story that brings Joy

Let the message of Jesus be eternally impactful to your soul. Meditate on this story daily as it will cause GREAT JOY (Luke 2: 1) But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

3) Remember the call rejoice

Whatever the season and situation, God encourages us to rejoice. Paul focuses on the idea that rejoicing is to take place at all times. We often forget he wrote these words while a prisoner in Rome. He had been wrongfully arrested for some time, shipwrecked on the way there, bitten by a snake, and left under house arrest for two years BUT he still rejoices, encouraging us to respond by rejoicing too

(Philippians 4:4)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

4) Remember the choice to rejoice

“Yet I will” live with a grateful heart and resolve to rejoice despite our circumstances. Even when the season looks dry and our resources and tanks are low, make the choice to rejoice (Habakkuk 3:17–18). Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

5) Remember He is all about restoring and renewing

Be aware of the need to protect the joy of your relationship with God. Learn to nurture and take care of the joy in yourself and in the lives of those God has placed in our path.
(Psalm 51:12) Restore to me the joy of my salvation, renew in me a steadfast spirit.

6) Remember He is coming back

Seek the eternal over the temporary. The popular Christmas song “Joy to the World” by Isaac Watts celebrates the joyful occasion of the Lord’s coming. But the lyrics were never intended to be a Christmas song. They were a poem by Watts based on Psalm 98, which is a psalm of the second coming of the Lord. In all we face let’s remember He is Emmanuel, He is joy and He is coming back.

We pray that 2022 would be a year of joy and hope that overflows so that God can be good news to you and good news through you.

“May 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.” (Romans 15:13)