Joy is the difference-maker in the life of a believer. It’s evidence that God is at work. Joy doesn’t ignore the tragedy or trials of life, and it doesn’t fake a smile. It’s not a fleeting feeling, but an attitude of love and hope. It’s the result of the blessed assurance that God is our Helper, our Deliverer, our Comforter.
James 1:2 invites us to “Consider it pure joy, my brother and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,…” In the ordinary, in the unpredictable, and in the unforeseen twists of our story we find joy when we remember this is not our home and love is the victor. Joy doesn’t demand that trouble is removed from our lives, but rather that we appreciate any good gift in dark times. We don’t deny the hardships but hold true to the joy of the Lord. We rejoice in who he is and what he has done. We count it all joy – every trial, every broken moment. We rejoice because God doesn’t waste any of it.
Joy is a gift. It’s a gift found abundant in the light but most precious and valuable when found in the dark. It’s a gift not only for us but for those around us. It invites others to the feet of Jesus to experience his love and mercy.