My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; James 1:2-3
Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do. Ecclesiastes 9:7
Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9
“Joy” is not quite the same as “happiness”. Joy is a deeper thing, the ocean current that swells beneath the waves, moving always undeterred in its path and undisturbed by whatever passes over the surface. Joy exists, though sometimes dimly, in the midst of all the vagaries of our lives. It is present when we live within the mind and will of God; when we are where God intends us to be, we often find joy. It encompasses gratitude and hope, and moves us toward forgiveness and peace. The innocent experience and share joy as naturally as breathing, and are treasure to heavy hearts. Those closest to God may shine out joy and light our way.
Joy is a gift of the Spirit, and so I pray for all a joyous Lent.