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.
"Many of us are used to the idea that we might speak to God or to Jesus. Maybe at times it feels like shouting into the darkness or whatnot, but it’s not hard to do—at least as an imaginative exercise. What’s harder—even imaginatively—is to try to hear Jesus speaking to us. Are we just making things up? Are we just using Jesus as a puppet to say whatever we want to hear?" READ MORE