Joys and Concerns

“Does anyone have any joys or concerns?”

PB asked this question every Sunday morning, and people usually responded with various prayer requests.

“Pray for my grandma who is having surgery this week.”

“Pray for the safety of those traveling during the holidays.”

“Pray for my co-worker who got bad news.”

One Sunday was different, though.

A member raised his hand and said, “My car got a big scratch along the side of it last week while in the church parking lot and it must have been someone here. I think whoever did that should come forward and fix it.”

After that, we called this special time during our worship service
“Joys, Concerns and Accusations.”

I’ve been thinking about that word — joy. Following my Bible Reading Plan, I’m spending the next several weeks looking at scriptures that contain the word joy. I’m only two weeks in, but already I’ve noticed something surprising.

So far, the verses on joy also include words like these:

Joy and sorrow seem to go hand in hand.

We will come rejoicing, bringing in the abundant harvest of sheaves only after we have sown seeds of tears. (Psalm 126:6)

We will experience seasons of painful labor and anguish, but eventually it will give way to the joyful birth of something new. (John 16:21)

Our tears of sorrow are not ignored or overlooked or wasted. They are seeds that sink into dark places but, in time, they will produce a harvest of joy.

Plan for Joy

Do you know anyone who is happy-go-lucky?
Someone who is in a good mood all of the time?
An eternal optimist who always looks on the bright side?
A person who might say to you, “Let’s turn that frown upside down”?

Me neither.
If I did know someone like that,
I’d probably be annoyed.

Joy doesn’t come naturally.

for believers in Christ,
joy comes supernaturally,
through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 and according to my Bible Reading Plan for 2023, a word study on JOY is coming up next.

Let’s start with a working definition:

“Biblical joy is more than a happy feeling. It’s a lasting emotion that comes from the choice to trust that God will fulfill His promises.” (

Here is my 12 week plan to study a few of the scriptures in the Bible that are about joy. You are welcome to join me! Let’s plan for some joy!

April 10-14 — Psalm 126
April 17-21 — John 16:20-24
April 24-28 — Philippians 1:3-6, 2:1-2
May 1-5 — Psalm 92:1-5, 12-15
May 8-12 — 1 Peter 1:3-9
May 15-19 — 1 Thessalonians 1:4-8
May 22-26 — 2 Corinthians 7:2-7
May 29-June 2 — 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
June 5-9 — Psalm 47
June 12-16 — 1 Thessalonians 3:6-10
June 19-23 — 3 John 1-4
June 26-30 — Psalm 98

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
Drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day.
~Henry van Dyke~