All posts tagged: fruit of the spirit

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 …