I’ll be honest. I haven’t read all of the bible. It is on my list of things to do, and I know that I have no chance of fully comprehending God’s great love for me until I do. So, I absolutely do not claim to be any kind of theological expert – not even a little bit.
But my favourite passage in the bible is this one from Galatians:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
5 Galatians (ESV)
To me, living a life filled with these qualities sounds like a life worth living.
Many years ago, as part of a prayer focussed evening, I was asked to chose one of these ‘fruits’ that I would most appreciate prayer for.
I chose joy. It was a time in my life when I genuinely didn’t think I would experience joy again.
I was naive at the time, and I expected that the answers to these prayers would be instant. That I would be filled with joy and my life would suddenly be turned around. From that point forwards, there would only be joy in my life.
Of course, life doesn’t really work like that.
I recently realised that now, all these years later, I am still praying for joy. But more than that. I’m praying for an understanding of what a joy-filled life really looks like, and how I can learn to cherish the joy in every aspect of my life.