The moment I felt George move for the first time in my belly is a memory that I will never forget. I smiled as big as my lips would stretch for something I waited my whole life for was finally a reality. Then, several years later was the moment I laid in front of a small screen, while my doctor ran the camera across the warm jelly on my tummy with a concerned look in her eye. We saw no movement, no heartbeat, nothing but my broken heart. 

Every human being on Earth has experienced seasons of good and seasons of bad, but the question I have asked myself before and ask again, is it possible to always have joy, even in the difficult seasons? We laugh and have moments of happiness, but is that joy? We cry and have seasons of sadness, but can we simultaneously have joy? As I ponder this wonderful three letter word, I am left with a deeper desire to understand if joy is truly possible in every season, and if so, how? 

There are 159 bible verses about joy in the Old and New Testament, which means it is actually important to understand and hold on to. We have heard the scripture, “do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). It sounds good, and is something I want to cling to, but is it something I have fully grasped? In James we read to, “count it all joy” when we come across trials of all kinds (James 1:2-3). We read in Thessalonians to Rejoice EVERMORE, which is another word for always and forever ( 1 Thessalonians 5:16). Is it truly possible to rejoice ALWAYS, and have joy in the trials? The answer is, I believe, yes although difficult to grasp, it is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that it is attainable.  

“Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:38

God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit and through His Spirit, the fruit of joy is present and available to us in every season, good or bad. Joy does not falsely put a smile on our face in the midst of difficult times pretending everything is okay. Joy is an honest peace that plants seeds of faith in the midst of the trials.  Joy is part of this upside-down kingdom understanding that in pain we can endure and rejoice, defying what pain is supposed to make us feel. The Dictionary defines joy as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. But the biblical definition of joy is a feeling of good pleasure and happiness that is dependent on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us. 

When I didn’t see a beating heart on the screen, I did not “feel” joy, I felt sadness and grief, but it was God’s joy down in my heart that allowed me to heal and endure the sad days. I not only cried tears of sadness, but of joy in that season, overwhelmed by my great God and the blessings I did have. I found my worship went deeper, my love for Jesus grew stronger, and the peace that surpasses understanding was understandable. I felt happiness when I felt George move for the first time, and I felt deep sadness when I didn’t see that little heartbeat on the monitor, but in both situations, there was the gift of joy always present. Joy is not something we find, not something we seek, but something we receive when we received Christ into our lives. May you receive the gift living inside of you as you go through every season and know that His joy is always your strength. 

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

5 Keys to help us dive deeper into the gift of joy. 

  • Gratitude. Find time to thank God for all He has given and done in your life. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 
  • Trust God in ALL things. “For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in his holy name.” Psalm 33:21
  • Rejoice and praise Him in worship.  “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.” Psalm 5:11
  • Walk in obedience. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:10-11
  • Pray and keep the hope of everlasting life close to your heart. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12.

Page Photo Credit: Melisa Askew Click Link to follow!

Dive Deeper into the scriptures of Joy50 inspiring bible verses on Joy to Feed Your Soul Click Link!

Published by Emily Rodewald

Emily is a writer and worship leader. She has written several worship songs, she is a co-author or two children's books and has begun writing about the light of Jesus in her blog at She is a co-founder of Parallel Ministries and a mom of two boys, George and Oliver. She has been married for 13 years to the man of her dreams, Daniel. She and her family live in beautiful Montana where they enjoy taking the boys fishing, going on adventures, and renovating their new home.

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