Pure Joy Bible Reading Plan and Challenge

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Each year when January rolls around, I find myself becoming a little winter-weary. Embracing the beauty of each day is very important to me. Perhaps because I have a sweet girl who is suffering and has a limited number of days to live.

Discovering joy for each day isn’t something we can experience only in perfect circumstances. It’s interesting how joy can be found even in hardship. Joy doesn’t depend on the hardness of life; joy depends on the holiness of life. Jesus brings joy.

I’ve been working on a little project for January’s Bible reading challenge. And here’s the raw and honest truth: I often ask God if he’s sure he picked the right girl to lead a daily Bible reading plan, because ya’ll, I mess up. I get bogged down. I have to constantly ask him to realign my priorities. I’m a last-minute Lucy (sorry to all you Lucy’s out there!) and I’m the worst marketer of the century. But I just do my best to obey the Lord. He impressed on my heart to create a journal alongside this Bible reading plan. One that would help us all stay more accountable to the Word as our daily bread.

So the monthly Bible reading challenge isn’t changing at all. You’ll find the regular schedule below with all the usual details. But for those folks who want to be more intentional or desire to keep a history of their personal faith journey, this 31 day Pure Joy Bible Reading Plan and Journal is for you. I think you’ll love its simplicity and appreciate the accountability it offers. If you’ve been around here much, you know I’m a big journaling girl for many reasons, but one big reason is because I love to go back and see how God has worked in my life. Here’s a little peek of what the inside of the journal looks like:


So, without further ado, you’ll find this journal available to order HERE and NOW.



Welcome to the Pure Joy Bible reading challenge! If you’ve never joined a Bible reading challenge here before, each day we follow the plan and read the passage. You can share what you are learning on social media or just keep it between you and God. My goal through the reading is to draw closer to Jesus, and I want that for you too!

For this month, we will use the hashtags #purejoy and #biblereading. Almost every day, I post on Instagram or Facebook about what I’m learning through the passages and sometimes I post the Bible journaling pages or handlettering I work on throughout the study.

On Fridays, I post a summary of what I learned through the week here on the blog and invite you to share what God is teaching you in the comments.


Bible Journaling

As you may know, I’ve been working on learning to Bible journal a little art and since you’ve been asking, I’ve got a FANTASTIC tool to help us both consistently read God’s Word, study it, meditate on it, and enjoy it. Use this Bible Journaling Guide to process the Bible reading through your choice of journal writing, art, or both.


1. Psalm 47:1-9
2. 1 Peter 1:3-9
3. Romans 15:7-13
4. Nehemiah 8:5-10
5. John 16:17-24
6. Psalm 30:1-5
7. Hebrews 12:1-6
8. Psalm 4:1-8
9. Ecclesiastes 5:12-20
10. Isaiah 35:1-4
11. Jeremiah 15:10-16
12. Matthew 2:1-10
13. Psalm 51:7-12
14. Psalm 65:1-13
15. Habakkuk 3:12-19
16. John 15:5-11
17. Galatians 5:22-26
18. Psalm 92:1-8
19. Philippians 2:1-11
20. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10
21. James 1:1-6
22. Jude 1:20-25
23. Psalm 84:1-7
24. Psalm 97:1-12
25. Ecclesiastes 2:22-26
26. Isaiah 29:13-19
27. Isaiah 35:5-10
28. Psalm 119:105-112
29. Ecclesiastes 8:12-17
30. Psalm 126:1-6
31. Isaiah 9:1-7



Just screenshot the graphic to your smartphone and mark it as a favorite for easy daily access. For a simple printable copy, click on the graphic or HERE and print out two copies of the Bible reading plan. Share one with a friend!


You may recognize that we read through the Pure Joy Bible reading plan back in June. I’ve made a couple of adjustments to accommodate 31 days in January and eliminate any duplicate readings, but other than that, this plan is the same.

Who’s ready to be joyful? I’m taking the CHALLENGE and I’d love to have you join in!

By his grace,


Purchase your optional Pure Joy Bible reading plan and journal HERE.


  1. Shelly Marshall says:

    Love ❤ virtual hugs and many prayers for all here. Keep strong and remember there’s always sunshine ☀ after the ☔ ❤. Gods pushes away all our fears and bottles up all our tears we may be in different storms but with God as our guide His light will shine bright God’s standing right by our side He forgives us if all our sin because He is our Saviour and King ?. God love and comfort joy and peace Holy spirit be released Amen by me Shelly Marshall

  2. Hi Rachel,

    I found your site in the middle of December, I love it. The daily reading challenge has pushed me to be more accountable after a struggling year. This new year I’m focusing on Joy, the Lord knew this a head of time and He had it planned. I’ve let the cares of this world take it away, I’m choosing Joy instead.

  3. Dear Becky – may my hug and warmth of our Lord Jesus Christ encircle you and bring you peace. Having been in your child’s shoes I can feel for you for I could see the pain and misunderstanding of how this could happen in my own mother’s eyes. If you or your child needs a shoulder you can reach out to me, Julie Bethel on facebook or read our story on my blog – ginghamchick.com here is the direct link to that story https://ginghamchick.com/2014/07/23/they-walk-among-usangels-just-look-to-see-your-everyday-angel/ Again Becky I am holding you and yours in prayer….

  4. Becky Burns says:

    Can I share my heart with you all for just a couple of minutes?
    A friend of mine and I pick a word at the start of every new year. The word is something that we will reflect on, search our Bible for clarity on and pray about throughout the whole year. We have done this for many years and each year the word I pick seems to just be God given. The word is always what I truly needed to study on and has blessed me immensely. This year, being no different, Amy and I picked our words after doing some prayer about what we thought the Lord wanted us to pick. I won’t share her word, that’s her story. My word is JOY. The word just seemed so perfect for this year. And then Monday came, the day after Christmas when my spirit became completely broken when my baby called and told me about her baby. Yes, she is grown now but even when your kids are grown and have kids, they are still your babies. Love doesn’t stop. After Christy’s phone call, I sat in tears. My 15 mos. old grandson has cancer. His prognosis is not a good one. Not knowing what to do, as a mama I wanted to fix it. But I can’t. I felt no JOY. I cried out to God that he was wrong, there was going to be no JOY in the new year. I cried because I wanted to change my word to strength, that’s what word I needed. God impressed on my heart “I AM your strength, your word is JOY”. Today I woke up, feeling deep in my heart that JOY was not my word, and probably wouldn’t be in my vocabulary for a long time. I opened my Bible and the first verse I saw was John 15:11. It was already highlighted. It said, “These things I have spoken to you, that MY joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” God knew ahead of time, when I picked my word what word I was going to need this year. As I shared this with Amy Smith this morning at church, she gave me some more scriptures. John 16:20 -“Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. John 20:22 says, “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. And lastly, John 20:24,, “…..Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” I don’t know what this year is going to bring for our family, but I do know that out of all the sorrow that is happening, JESUS is and will always be our JOY. I’m going to keep my eyes on Him. He will sustain my family and we will have JOY. Thank you for letting me share my heart. I appreciate what you put on your website as I cannot purchase the journal.

    1. Hi Becky. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your God story with me. With all of us. I cannot imagine what your heart is going through in this heartbreaking situation, but yes, Jesus is our JOY and he has a special message for you through all this. I feel so blessed that you’ve allowed us a peek into your story. I just sent you an email. When you have a moment, would you respond? Blessings, Rachel

      1. Susan Hunsinger says:

        Hi, Becky. I am studying the book of Philippians, which is all about joy, and I very much appreciate the verses you included in your comment regarding joy. I printed all of them out and will include them in my prayer time.

        I, too, am in a place where I can’t see how Jesus can work any joy out of my circumstances, but Jesus reminded me that I am looking at joy from a human perspective (i.e., rejoicing/or having joy/being happy in my current situation), as opposed to Godly joy, which is having a joy that supersedes my situation and can only come from Him. A joy that rings forth because of Christ’s sacrifice for me, because of His salvation, and because He has promised me eternal life with Him. A joy that comes from being in God’s family and knowing that no matter what He is with me. I am beginning to realize that the closer I walk with Him, the more that I am obedient to Him, and the surrendering of my life for His will and glory is when joy will come. He is my joy. He is all I have and all I want. I will never have joy if I keep looking at my situation.

        You are correct in that we must keep our eyes on Christ. We must abide in Him. We must look to the things of heaven and not to the things of this earth. Our circumstances don’t give us joy, but looking unto Christ, the author and perfector of our faith, will give us joy that rises above our situations. Our hope is in Him alone.

        I will keep your grandson, you, and your family in my prayers. I am so sorry that he is going through all this, but Christ is working something out for you and your family. Trust in Him, and He will carry you through, no matter what happens.

      2. Becky, I was not going to pick a word this year because my heart just was not in the right place but after reading what you wrote I realized a single word can redirect my focus. Using my chosen word with God’s Word is what I now realize I need to do. And prayers for your precious grandson and your family.

    2. Becky,
      God gave you the gift of Himself in the word chosen for this year. Nehemiah 8:10b says “do not be grieved, for the JOY of the Lord is your Strength. You have what you need. I will covenant in prayer with you and your family in this trial. Blessings.

    3. Karen M. Roth says:

      Dear Becky, I am praying so hard for you right now {{{hugz}}} and your precious Grandson. I am not allowed to see my Grandson as my daughter hates me for my being forced by my own mother to give up both my daughter and my son and I have never been able to have more children. In my own struggle I have learned that you can have JOY in the midst of heartache. That there are treasures in the desert place.

      Right now I am sick as all get out and my doctors and specialists cannot figure it out. I , myself, may have Breast Cancer. I have a stable Bone tumor in my left leg. I have so many illnesses , most of which are auto-immune. I had started a pill to help and I have so many side effects from it that I had to stop it.

      As hard as it is be strong for your daughter and keep yourselves pointed to God. He will give you the strength to get through this but at the same time allow yourselves to grieve.

      You are not alone. God did not do this and He is walking right through it with you.

      This Sister in Christ is standing in the Gap and on her knees for you and your family {{{hugz}}}

      Love in Christ,
      Karen M. Roth

      1. susan falls says:

        dear Becky you bring me to my knees and the pain that seared through my heart on reading your message was intense. In fact it remains as i write to you as a grandmother and mother. I am so glad you made the decision to share and please continue to do so. I will continue to uphold
        your family in prayer and pray for our Lords hand to be upon you all daily, guiding in decisions and direction to be followed.I will pray knowing that pray will activate Gods armour, protecting you.
        in Christ
        Susan Falls

    4. Elizabeth Conrad says:


      Thank you for sharing your heart. I’ve prayed for you!


    5. Sending prayers to you and your family. Cancer is an ugly evil monster. When my father was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer I cried and screamed “Why??” Once I was quiet, the song “It is Well” came rushing into my head. I clung to that song. It brought me peace. I did however lose my joy in the process and am struggling to find it. My Word
      Of Year for 2017 is also JOY. I know that with God’s help (and Rachel’s devotional) I will find it again and you will too!

      1. It is Well was my mama’s favorite hymn, Hollee. xo

  5. Emma Whitmore says:

    Rachel I am so blessed by your posts, your ideas and your honesty. 2015&16 saw me brought to a physical full stop after many years of illness and struggle and now I am disabled and unable to work. Yet through it all God has remained my Rock, my Salvation and a source of unending miracles and blessings. I ordered your Pure Joy Journal and I’m excited to begin. My new year resolution is to ask and expect more, and in order to do that I know I need to immerse myself more in God’s word, His teachings and His promises.
    I’ve taken time to adapt my previous skills in research and planning to give dedicated structure to the Bible studies I’ve done in 2016 and will continue in 2017. I realised during my studies that I had never written a prayer down and my investigation into Journaling led me to you.
    Thank you for the order and the beauty of the journals you’ve produced and the studies to go with them. I start my day with my Father and Saviour and the blessings have been innumerable. God is truly great. I know He will bless you and continue to support and guide you in your work for Him.
    With much love in and through our Lord Jesus Christ

    1. Thank you for your sweet, kind words, Emma! I’m sorry to hear of your disabled status, but it is so neat to read your words about how the Lord has carried you and continues to carry you through. I’d love to read of your progress on your research. Feel free to email me.
      Many blessings to you, Rachel

  6. Crystal Olson says:

    Is this available in a digit format? I came across your website the other day. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to get closer with God! I am looking forward to accessing all the things you have on your website. Thank you

    1. Hello, Crystal! So glad you found us. You can screenshot the graphic to your smartphone for easy daily access. The Pure Joy Bible reading plan and journal is currently only available in the paper format, but we are working on a Kindle version. I’m sorry that it is not available right now.

  7. I’ve been following you and your page for a good while now and as I went to Amazon to purchase the journal, I found that it’s sold out! Honestly, as silly as it sounds, it made me so happy! That means that God has used you in such a mighty way that Amazon can’t even keep up the demand. 🙂 That’s awesome! I will still be following along on Instagram. 🙂

  8. I ordered my journal and I am super excited to start this! The past 14 months have been the hardest of my life. I lost my father in November 24, 2015, then my husband lost his father December 23, 2015. On January 31, 2016 our 17 year old daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. The rest has just been a struggle to find my joy again. So needless to say this plan is totally God’s perfect timing. I’m looking forward to a fresh start in 2017 and to finding my joy. Thank you so much for your dedication and for sharing your wonderful gift that God has given you.

    1. Blessings to you, Hollee! In the midst of all your trials,God is still in control and it’s such a blessing to me that you can see him through it all!

  9. Joy was my first one word when I started selecting a yearly one word back in 2014.
    thank you for reminding me why I chose it back then and why I still choose it daily!!!

  10. Susan Hunsinger says:

    God led me to do a study on Philippians starting the first of December. He has brought books, commentaries, etc. to me. He has provided for me in glorious ways in my study of joy. I want to glean every last morsel from Philippians and about joy so I was more than ecstatic when I got your email about the journal and that this month’s reading was on joy. I ordered the journal. I’m knee-deep in Philippians, and I’m ready for this. Let’s go, and let’s learn how to live out the joy that God has promised to us!

  11. Ronda McFalls says:

    I just purchased the journal so that I can hopefully fulfill one of my resolutions of getting closer to God. I realize that I don’t spend enough time reading (to comprehend) His word & I’m wanting to really dig deeper this year. Thank you for providing something to help nudge me in the direction I’m wanting to go.

    1. Wonderful, Ronda! So happy to see your excitement and determination!

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