Life lived under God’s grace should be joyful. We should laugh and celebrate, even though at times, we face real trouble and pain. The Holy Spirit produces Joy in his people, and it’s so much more than casual happiness and ease. Biblically, it is a deep satisfaction in the goodness of God, and delight in the beauty of his own glory and the mystery of his care for us.

Our salvation comes freely through the person and work of Christ in his incarnation, life, death, and resurrection, but living in our salvation and discipleship does not insulate us from the cost and pain of discipleship or daily life. The joy of Christ that the Holy Spirit produces in his people is not blissful ignorance of these realities. Instead Spirit-produced joy looks beyond the best gifts to their better Giver, and through momentary and seasonal difficulty to the eternal grace and glory of God, whose love and redemption win out in the end.

Infinite joy waits for us in the final resurrection, when our redemption is finished and we see Christ face to face. Until then, the Spirit grows his holy fruit of joy in us as a preview of what waits for us in the end!

This is how Christ exercised real joy: “Therefore, … let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”    Hebrews 12 

If you are struggling to be or feel joyful go to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and pray like David, that by the work of his Holy Spirit in us, he would “return to [us] the joy of our salvation.”