Joyful Humility
Zoe Elmore

"The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility." Proverbs 15:33 (NASB)

I am passionate about football! When our favorite college team beat a nationally ranked opponent, my husband and I cheered all the way home. Their preparations on the practice field had brought victory in the game. In a post-game interview the player who scored the winning touchdown made a comment that caught our attention. He said, "Our coach always encourages us to remain humble in victory." Wow! Joyful humility; how refreshing!

His comment reminded me of Moses, who was "educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action" (Acts 7:22, NIV). After killing an Egyptian and fleeing for his life, Moses spent the next forty years in a hot, dry, forsaken place of anonymity. Talk about humbling circumstances … Moses, a prominent member of the royal family spent his days on the parched sands of the desert. Though he had been sidelined, God used that time to prepare him for great things to come. When God called Moses back into the game, Moses obeyed with joyful humility. Humility comes before honor in God's Kingdom.

Likewise, David grew up away from the spotlight of public glamour, tending animals in the fields. As he lived a life of solitude and faith, God prepared him for great things. Just like Moses, David stepped into the spotlight with an attitude of joyful humility.

If you look at the life of John the Baptist, you will find large crowds came to hear his sermons and to be baptized. Eventually that stopped when the crowds turned their attention toward Jesus. Others expected John to be jealous, but John's reaction was one of joyful humility: "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30, NIV).

While many clamor for honor, prestige and the spotlight, God calls us to cultivate joyful humility and service. So like that football coach and his star player, like Moses, David and John the Baptist before us, let's live the powerful truth that humility can be joyous and it comes before honor.

Dear Lord, I thank You for humbling Yourself and dying on the cross so that I could know the joy of eternal life with You. I bow before You in joyful humility as I seek to make Your glory known today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Zoe’s blog

The Tale of Three Trees Retold by Angela Elwell Hunt

God’s Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen

Application Steps:
Demonstrate an attitude of joyful humility today – serve the Lord and others with a positive attitude.

What am I gaining from God's Word to nourish a life of joyful humility?

Power Verses:
Isaiah 66:2, "'Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?' declares the Lord. 'This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. '" (NIV)

Philippians 2:8, "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!" (NIV)

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Blogger Brandi Dabbs said...

I love the application... serve the Lord and others with joyful humility. I am a houseparent to 7 teenage foster girls... they are wonderful, but sometimes are very lacks in their chores. I woke up this morning to a living room full of blankets and mis-strewn pillows all over the place and a sink full of dishes (I went to bed at 7:30 last night sick!!) I was all prepared to pounce on them this morning when they woke up, but your devotion encouraged me to serve THEM today. :) With joy of course. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Blogger Laura said...

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and HE shall lift you up. James 4:10
If we keep this in mind we will not miss out on the Joy of Humility. Thank you for reminding us that there is joy in humility.

My blog is at

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a single mother of four. My oldest two children live with their father. I have my youngest two with me. A dream I have is to have a home someday for pregnant, unmarried,teen mothers. A lady said that she fosters 7 girls and my heart is just drawn to this story. God has given me this desire and I would love it if I could here from her about this. Love and Prayers, Larae

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