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Lent: A Joyful Lent

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:8-9 NLT

We talk about reflection and repentance during the season of Lent, making the season sound sorrowful and sad. But Lent has its own curious joy! How might we describe it?

During Lent, believers draw closer to God and deepen their faith. Through prayer, fasting, and caring for the poor, individuals can experience spiritual growth and feel a renewed sense of connection with the body of Christ. This can bring joyful fulfillment that comes from a deeper relationship with God.

Lent also provides an opportunity for individuals to reflect on their lives and make positive changes. As we examine our actions and seek forgiveness for our shortcomings, we experience a sense of liberation and joy that comes from starting anew. Lent offers the chance for personal growth and transformation, which can bring a deep sense of joy and fulfillment.

Image by EM Framing from Pixabay 

And, of course, during Lent, we are preparing our hearts for Easter, the most joyful of all occasions! This anticipation of Easter’s joy can bring excitement and happiness to the Lenten season.

The scripture emphasizes the joy of salvation. Let’s look at just a few passages.

Repentance and forgiveness result in joy!

Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

Psalm 32:1-2 NLT

As we reflect on God, deepening our understanding of who God is, our hearts are filled with joy!

The Lord is my strength and shield.
    I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
    I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Psalm 28:7 NLT

During Lent, as we meditate on God’s word, delighting in it, we are filled with the fruit of joy!

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

Psalm 1:1-3 NLT

We experience the joy of God’s presence during Lent as we seek His face.

You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 16:11 NLT

Lent is the joy of insight, or understanding, the joy which accompanies self-reflection and awareness-—wisdom’s precious advent. Lent isn’t bombastic; it’s a time when mysteries stabilize into greater faith; a season where the crooked lines collect into symmetry. In Lent, joy isn’t decorated in celebration but with the trenchant confidence of sobriety.

Bruce HIllman


Father, Your plan was always abundant
Joy, living in communion with You,
Living obedient and full lives
Following Your royal law of love –
Clothed in Your joy!
In this season, restore to us
The joy of our salvation –
Renewing a right spirit within us
Washing us clean by Your word.
Complete our joy for Your name’s sake-
Let all who take refuge in you be glad
Let us who love Your name
Rejoice in You! May we shout for joy
Over your victory and
Lift up our banners in the name of our God.

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