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Engage with Grand Canyon University's (GCU) vibrant Spiritual Life community and take a deeper look at the various ministries that are happening around the world, in your backyard and on our campus. From weekly devotionals to Chapel highlights and features that reflect God's work in the hearts of our students, staff and faculty, each article is presented by GCU's Spiritual Life team and our special guests. We hope that God will challenge and encourage you through His words and the stories about His people that inspire us all.
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Weekly Devotional: Fruit of the Spirit – Joy

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A woman has her arms wide open embracing the sunshine in an open field in a state of joy

By Paige Ferrari
Global Outreach Student Leader

“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)

Did you see Pixar’s newest movie “Inside Out”? It narrowed down the human personality into five main emotions: disgust, sadness, anger, fear and joy. Although this film very accurately portrayed what it looks like to have all of your emotions working together inside your brain, and it’s a psychologically sound film, I think that it gets one thing wrong.

Spiritually speaking, our joy cannot be lost or forgotten about.

Joy is usually synonymous with happiness. But even in day-to-day conversations, we make the distinction that happiness and joy are two very separate things. If I describe someone as a joyful person, that doesn’t mean to say that they are happy all of the time; it means that there is joy that flows out of them and reveals its face in the form of happiness.

Joy is a choice.

Rick Warren gave us this definition of joy: “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”

The two parts of his definition are “quiet confidence” and “determined choice.” We feel a sense of joy when we praise God and know that He is in control is a daily, minute-by-minute choice. When we rest in joy, we are truly able to acknowledge the one who is in control of it all.

“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:22)

This passage in John says how no one can take away our joy. It talks of joy like it is an actual object, something of eternal value and everlasting ownership.

I want that! I want the kind of joy that is rooted so deeply in my heart that nothing can cause it to waver.

That is joy. Joy is a choice. Let joy outpour from you as the confidence in God and His spirit fill you up.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Learn about Spiritual Life at Grand Canyon University by checking out our website.

About Paige Ferrari
Global Outreach Student Leader

Paige Ferrari is a senior at GCU studying Communications and serves in the Spiritual Life department as part of the Global Outreach Team. Although she’s from Southern California, Paige finds herself falling in love with the people, culture and lifestyle of Phoenix, and hopes to permanently move here after graduation. She is a passionate writer, reader and coffee connoisseur; she is always looking for some creative words over a cup of coffee.

Read more about Paige Ferrari