By Gina Manskar
Our companion, guide, and comforter on the great journey into joy is the Holy Spirit. At the outset, it is the Spirit who inspires joy when grace has opened us to receive God’s word. When life’s perplexities impoverish us, it is the Spirit who, working through the gift of joy, removes all boundaries to our hope. —John S. Mogabgab Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). While we pursue and enjoy happiness through our circumstances, sometimes it doesn’t seem to be enough. The joy we receive as Christians can carry us through challenging times, lifting us up and giving us perspective. Joy is brought to life in us by the One who gives us life.
We can open ourselves to joy, cultivating a soul-environment where it can take root and grow. Here are some practices to help cultivate joy.
Gazing on Christ
Allowing the Unknown
Reframing Your Experiences
Keeping Hope Alive
“Even now,” writes Doris Donnelly, “in the middle of calamity, crisis, unfinished business, brokenness, pain, and indifference, rejoicing is to be.” May the Holy Spirit help us discover the joy of knowing God’s love and sharing that love with others.
Gina Manskar is editorial assistant for Alive Now. A native of Minnesota, she has lived in Nashville for sixteen years with her husband, Steve. Their son, Noah, just graduated from college with a degree in journalism.
Credit: "Cultivating Joy" by Gina Manskar. Copyright © 2015 Alive Now. From July/August 2015 Alive Now. Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room.
The United Methodist Church in Honduras uses El Aposento Elto, the Spanish language version of The Upper Room daily devotional to start new faith communities. They use "An Easy Plan to Use The Upper Room in Small Groups" found in the back of the magazine. As the groups grow, they build critical mass for new church starts.