Reading time: 2 minutes
If you want to find something, where do you start looking?
If you’re hungry for strawberries, where do you get them? Strawberries don’t grow on apple trees. So there’s not much point in looking up a tree.
Where does joy come from? Joy is a fruit of the spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
Joy is spiritual. Joy is other-worldly. Joy can be difficult to grasp. It’s not logical when viewed from the present moment. Joy becomes elusive when you look for it in the circumstances of your life.
But joy is logical when you look beyond the present moment. Real joy is rooted in a reality beyond what you see everyday. Joy comes from a truth greater than any fact of your present day life. That’s the only way you can suffer and be joyful at the same time.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.James 1:2-3 NIV
Joy isn’t possible without faith. Faith sees beyond the physical to the spiritual reality.
Joy results from trials because the trials reveal the “too good to be true even though it is true” reality beyond the so-so reality of everyday life. Joy is always possible because it’s based on the absolute truth of God’s kingdom.
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”Luke 23:43 ESV
No matter what is happening to you today, a paradise awaits you someday in the future. But don’t end your life prematurely to reach paradise.
While you’re still alive, God has a purpose for you. It’s okay to borrow joy from your heavenly future. In fact, that’s the only way to do it. God’s Spirit makes the heavenly reality known to you today.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.