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April 17 – The fruit of the Spirit – Joy

“I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” – Habakkuk 3:18b

Scripture reading: Habakkuk 3:1-19

When the Bible speaks of our joy, we discover that it is the Christian’s response to all the blessings we have from God. But the wellspring, the fount of joy is our salvation in Jesus Christ.

For example, James instructs us to “count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” (James 1:2). But we cannot be joyful in our trials apart from our salvation in Christ. In Psalm 119, the Psalmist says that he delights in God’s Word, in God’s commands, and in God’s testimonies. But we cannot find joy in God’s revelation without being in Christ. And at the end of Luke’s gospel, just after Jesus’ ascension, we read that His disciples “worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:52). But we cannot worship joyfully apart from being in Christ.

Habakkuk was a prophet during very difficult days. In the short, Old Testament book of Habakkuk, the prophet raises complaints to God about the sorry state of affairs in Judah. He is burdened because God seems to be indifferent to the appalling spiritual condition of His people (Habakkuk 1:2-4). But after God answers his complaints, Habakkuk responds with those beautiful words, “I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

Is that your joy? God sent His only begotten Son to save you. He is the God of your salvation. Do you take joy in Him?

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Holy Spirit would impress on you His great love for you. So great is the Father’s love that He gave Jesus to be your salvation. Pray that your joy would be evident and recognized by others.

Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen was born and raised in California and has been an ordained minister of the Gospel for nearly 33 years. He is now serving as pastor of Coram Deo Reformation Church (URC) near Denver, Colorado. He is also the General Editor of the Trinity Psalter Hymnal. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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