The world will tell you that joy is a rare emotion that you must search for in other people and places and things, but the truth is that joy is not the same thing as our worldly perception of happiness. It is not just a state of mind or a fleeting emotion. Joy is a very real force, a fruit of the spirit, and a gift from God.

“You have sorrow now, but… your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” John 16:22 (ESV)

We can have joy and peace no matter what our circumstances are. The world looks to external sources for happiness, but those are empty promises and never last. The joy of the Lord is always there within you. You’re never alone.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)