Joy and Peace
Isaiah 55 says, "And you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace." Now to be quite honest, most of the time I think of joy or peace as a kind of place I can move to in my heart and mind whenever I am aware of my need to do so. As of late, I have even begun to practice that as often as I can remember it during my day. But maybe Isaiah has something even more profound in mind. More like — living in a state of joy and peace as we are led through our day.
I even have a bit of doubt about whether such a thing is possible in our broken world. Except that as I think about this, I can picture Dallas Willard in my mind, and see him smile as someone asks him a question about life. And I am certain that Dallas lived most of the time in a place of joy and peace, even though I am sure he did not live in a protective bubble, but had the same kinds of heartaches and disappointments that we all have. So perhaps there is a way to live in joy and peace.
So then Joy and Peace are not temporary states of mind that we can escape to from time to time. Joy and Peace are to be my constant companions. They are, in fact, inherent characteristics of any place where God dwells. So if we could only grasp (and experience) that we are always in the company of God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, then we may begin to live in joy and peace no matter what else we are doing or experiencing.