19 Oct 23

Being Filled With Joy

Newsletter | Toolern Vale Update

Our children love to sing in chapel about the fruits of the spirit. If you have heard the song, you will understand how much energy it requires – it is happy and lively, and the students are filled with infectious joy and excitement as they sing along together. You can’t resist smiling and bouncing in time with them. One of the fruits of the spirit that we talk about is ‘joy’. We explain to our children that the kind of joy referred to in the bible is different to happiness. Being a joy-filled person means that despite life’s circumstances that come your way, there is a presence of a deeply rooted sense of delight and peace. This kind of joy is a calming source of strength when trials and setbacks come along. Our God of hope is full of compassion and mercy, and he delights when we persevere through tough times with this rich sense of joy permeating our inner most being.

“I know there’s bound to come some trouble to your life.

But reach out to Jesus and hold on tight.

He’s been there before

and He knows what it’s like.

You’ll find he’s there” (Rich Mullins, ‘An arrow pointing to heaven’).

As followers of Christ, we have a beautiful assurance that we are never alone – in the peaks and in the troughs of life, we are secure and safe when we walk closely with God. Living in his shadow, we can find peace alongside a beautiful deep joy, regardless of the external circumstances (Psalm 91). This childlike joy that oozes from bubbly and innocent little lives as they journey the ups and downs of life is so lovely to watch in our students as they play and grow together. We can learn from our children about this heartfelt joy that grows when we can trust in his hope and love, deep in our spirit. These words were spoken by Jesus – “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). Jesus’ joy is perfect joy – not lacking anything, complete and full. What a beautiful gift if we are open to receiving it!

kellie giannes, head of toolern vale campus