Galatians 5:22 says “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness.”

1 Peter 1:8 says “Though you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

Romans 15:13 says “May the 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.”

Lately the word “joy” has been making itself so apparent to me. I don’t mean joy as in the worldly sense of the word, generally synonymous with happiness or gladness. I mean the biblical sense of the word-the joy that comes from the Lord and fills us completely, regardless of our circumstances.

When we worship or pray, we are filled with a joy that only God can provide. When we know Him, His love fills our hearts-regardless of our situations or our emotions. You can be happy, and be joyful. And you can also be brokenhearted and still have joy.

Galatians tells us that joy is one of the many fruits of the Holy Spirit. It makes sense, then, that the closer we become to God and the more our will aligns with His, the greater joy we can feel. To me, I feel encouraged that no matter what my circumstances may be or the terrible day I might be facing, I can still feel joy, because I am a child of God.

Those nights I am missing my officer terribly-I still have joy. The shifts I am worried sick, scrolling through the news and praying for my officer’s safe return-I still can have joy. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? That we, as humans, were made to rejoice, regardless of our place in the world.

Lord, thank you for creating me to be full of joy. It humbles me that I, a mere human, have been specifically stitched together by You and created in a way that allows me to rejoice, regardless of what I may be facing in this world. Please remind me of this when I am facing tough times. Remind me to seek You and remember my joy in times that are hard. Remind me to marinate in Your goodness and Your joy.

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