You may be afraid, scared, scarred, overwhelmed, sick, trapped, addicted, depressed or any of dozens of other painful realities that are part of the human condition. But these things are not the last word about you because there is something far more potent – the joy of the Lord. This joy comes from experiencing God’s grace, living in the reality that Jesus loves you so much he died for you so that you can have the life God created you to live, and experiencing the Holy Spirit at work in your life. It does not always replace the painful reality in which you are living, but it does transcend it. It allows you to live beyond what others expect to be absolutely debilitating. And here’s the amazing thing. It’s God’s gift to you right now.