Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Choosing Joy When Your Road Gets Bumpy


habakkuk 3

Ever had one of those days that take the smile right off your face? The car breaks down on your way to work. The school calls to say your child just threw up in the classroom and needs to go home. Hard days make it hard to keep smiling, but even so, we still have reasons to rejoice.

We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but we can choose our response.

Hidden in the last pages of the Old Testament, we find a remarkable role model. Habakkuk had no control over the disasters going on around him, but “he chose to control his response by rejoicing in the Lord regardless…” (UCB Word for Today, Sept. 19)

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,  and the cattle barns are empty,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!”

(Habakkuk 3:17-19a)


Habakkuk chose joy despite overwhelming circumstances.

We can make the same choice:

Even though the house is a wreck, and dinner’s going to be late,
Even though the washing machine breaks down, and piles of laundry abound,
Even though money’s tight, and the kids are driving me crazy,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!


I want to respond to challenges like Habakkuk did. Instead of letting difficulties drag me down, I want to choose to rejoice anyway, but it doesn’t come naturally.  What comes naturally is complaining, whining, and feeling sorry for poor little me.

So I’m taking three steps towards a choosing a more joyful attitude when my road gets bumpy:

1.  Keep an Eternal Perspective.

Nothing that happens today can change God’s eternal promises. Our sins have been forgiven. We’ve passed from death to life. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us, giving us the strength we need. We don’t have to be afraid because God promises to be with us wherever we go.

2.  Delight in God’s Word.

I want to get as much of God’s Word in me as I can. God’s Word strengthens our faith. It counteracts depression by encouraging us. God’s Word gives us a blueprint for overcoming challenges. It imparts wisdom. God’s Word renews our hope.

3.  Trust.

Even when the bumps and hard knocks of life threaten to steal our joy, we can choose to trust that God has a perfect plan. We may not understand, but we know He uses every trial to shape us more closely to His imagine.

Hard days make it hard to keep smiling, but we can still take steps towards choosing a joyful attitude. Keeping an eternal perspective, delighting in God’s word, and simply trusting help us to develop an attitude that says, “I didn’t sign up for this day, but I’m rejoicing anyway!”

God is carrying out his eternal purposes in us. One day we’ll see Him face to face. That’s cause for rejoicing.

What do you think? Is it really possible to CHOOSE joy?

Linking up with Holly Barrett, Meredith Bernarad, and Holly Gerth. (Check out their blogs for more encouragement!)
Holly Barrett

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

14 thoughts on “Choosing Joy When Your Road Gets Bumpy

  1. I want to remember this when I’m having one of ‘those’ days: “I didn’t sign up for this day, but I’m rejoicing anyway!” Great post!

  2. Delighting in God’s word is the one thing that helps me choose joy and any other positivity in every situation in my life. Thanks for the reminder today to keep my nose in the Book! Appreciate you linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

  3. Such great wisdom here, Betsy. I know that I’ve had many days where it’s hard for me to smile for some of the same reasons you mentioned, but you are so right. Eternal perspective is key. We have so much to be thankful for, and it we don’t have to look hard to find it. Thanks for this reminder!

  4. Yes, we can choose joy! It’s difficult sometimes, but I believe we have the ability to choose our mindset.

  5. I didn’t sign up for this day, but I’m rejoicing anyway.” Love it!!! Thank you for this wonderful nugget!

  6. Absolutely! We can choose joy, but like you’ve said, it takes discipline. It’s so much more fun to whine. Whining seems to get an audience (which can quickly disappear when we wear out our welcome). I definitely choose joy.

  7. Those days happen frequently here, and I definitely need to choose joy. I guess if it was easier to have joy, we wouldn’t be rewarded for choosing it.

  8. Yes, Betsy, it is SO possible to CHOOSE joy, but you are right, it’s choice and not always an easy one for me to make. I struggle in finding joy in the trials…even though I know that’s my call. Thank you for this great reminder this week!

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