Joy in Sadness

"Mommy, Heather was really mean to me today at school. I thought she was my best friend! I am really, really sad. I just want to stay home and not go back, ever."’ Your daughter has just experienced how cruel and sad life can be. Yet through all of this she can know and experience joy. To do this she needs the Holy Spirit's fruit.

What brings joy to you profoundly impacts your children's understanding of joy. Biblical joy is unique. It is the Spirit's fruit. It cannot be reproduced apart from his work. There is, of course, joy that manifests itself in the human spirit. It comes from being encouraged by positive, happy circumstances. That is good, but there are limitations. Human joy needs a flow of positive circumstances to sustain itself. In contrast the Spirit's joy can be described this way:

"Joyfulness is believing that God will work all things together for my good, so I never have to despair. I can be joyful even when I am sad."

With the power of the Spirit, joy and sadness can coexist. Sadness, even grief, does not have to diminish true joy. The rich mercy and grace of God is always reason for joy. God has promised never to leave you or turn away from you. Because of this great truth we can know joy even in sadness.

Joy of this kind is not natural. It will not just magically appear. This joy is exclusively the work of God's Spirit. But it still needs to be taught by example. If you see a lack of joy in your children., check your own spirit first.

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