Joy Beyond Circumstance

Studies tell us that adults laugh an average of 15 times a day. Children rip out a giggle around 300 times a day.

I believe it. My 18-month-old turns on his smile like a light switch, and thin air has been known to elicit a laugh. So what happens somewhere between finger-painting and paying bills? When does that easy joy of childhood slip from our grasp?

Jesus once said of children, “…the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Luke 18:16). There are many things to admire in a child. They know how to trust completely and as a result their joy in life is generally full.

Joy is the second fruit of the spirit.

Often we think of joy as a response to circumstances, an emotion brought on by good luck or God’s blessing. But its place as one of the nine fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) suggests otherwise.

When I trust in God, his joy abides in me despite my circumstances.

When I am not trusting in God, joy is dictated by circumstance and is fleeting.

What is joy, anyway? It’s so much more than laughter and a smile. Joy through the Holy Spirit is a deep, abiding sense of contentment, an acknowledgement in your soul that you are a valued child of the King, a bubbling over of thankfulness, hope, peace, goodness. It is a wonderful thing.

Complete this sentence: “I am joyful when…”

If your answer was an event or situation (when I’m shopping, when the house is clean, when I receive good marks for an assignment), you are missing out. Put your trust in Jesus so that you can declare, I am joyful always!

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!”
Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT)


Written for The Bible Society’s Live Light in 25 Words campaign. If you want to start a bible reading habit, I highly recommend the resources on their website.



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