Fruit of the Spirit: JOY

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT),”But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!

JOY. I’m glad the Lord has equipped us with joy. Joy is present regardless of our circumstances. It can look beyond the darkness and see the light. It rises up in the midst of turmoil and declares victory!

Joy In Action:

1. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

We can rejoice always because our God is faithful. He will never leave us alone. He has a solution for every problem we face. Even when we can’t see it right away, we can rejoice knowing He is aware of our needs and will carry us through. Being able to look back and recall God’s blessings brings us joy!

2. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2-3)

Although we don’t enjoy going through trials, it’s the trials that make us stronger. When our faith is tested, we learn to persevere. We can be joyful knowing that in each and every struggle that we are met with, God is shaping us into the person He created us to be. No trial we endure is ever in vain, because God will use our trials and our weaknesses for His glory.

3. The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. ( Proverbs 10:28)

The hope we have in Christ brings us joy! Knowing we will spend eternity with Him brings us even more joy! Even as we do our daily tasks, we can rest knowing He will guide our steps. It’s a joy to know His love lights our way.

4. My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. ( Psalm 71:23)

We have been redeemed by the precious Blood of the Lamb! I can’t think of a better reason to be joyful. The penalty for our sins was paid and we are free, so rejoice, shout, and sing praises to our God!

“Happiness is fickle, and requires happy circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, sticks around. It doesn’t get chased off by trouble.” – Nivine Richie

***Feel free to share your thoughts about JOY in the comments.

Next Reading: Fruit of the Spirit: PEACE

The joy of the Lord is our strength.

When God Changes Things, Don’t Resist

Proverbs 19:21(NLT) says, “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.”

My tenth grade marketing teacher taught us this quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “Change is the only constant in our lives.” It’s interesting how change is constant, but we’re prone to resist it. I guess it’s the comfort of familiarity that holds us hostage. Even though we have our routines and plans, as Christians we should always be open to the possibility of God redirecting our course. Our lives become more meaningful when we allow Him to saturate our lives with His adventures.

I always like to remember Abraham…

Hebrews 11:8 (NLT), “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.”

This is a great example of stepping out on faith and following the leading of The Holy Spirit. We have to be willing to take the first step God is showing us. After that, he’ll show us the next step. God might not call you to go to another land (although He might), but perhaps He’s calling you to change jobs, or sign up as a volunteer at a local organization. God may even be calling you to reach out to a new person at work or church and invite them to lunch.

We must be willing to embrace the changes He brings our way. Rather the changes are big or small, they count as part of our destiny. Plus, one small change could make a huge difference in the day or life of another person. We can’t let fear of the unknown hinder our progress. The satisfaction we crave is found in walking in obedience to God’s divine plans . This includes making changes as needed.

When You Feel Like You’ve Failed God

We’ve all had these moments, days or even seasons where we feel we have failed God. When we go through these times where we feel like we are “less than” in God’s eyes, He still loves us. He doesn’t have the ability to stop loving us. His love for us endures forever.

pexels-photo-1161268When we fail, it can cause us to want to draw away from Christ, but instead of drawing away, He desires for us to draw closer to Him. He always fully accepts us, just as we are. Remember His love perseveres through our setbacks, our anger, our disappointments, and even our rebellion. His dreams for you don’t go away because you have failed. He never gives up on you. He is a perfect Father who loves you perfectly.

When we fall into sin, it breaks His heart if we choose to ignore His love for us and go the other way. He wants us to know Him intimately enough to understand that even in our sin, His love for us still persist. After all, Jesus died for us while we were sinners.

Romans 5:8 (NLT), “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Does He desire for us to repent and refocus on Him? Yes He does. He wants us to abandon our sinful ways the same way we want our loved ones to do better when things are wrong in their lives. God really, really loves us. If need be, He will discipline us to get our attention when we insist upon disobeying His instruction. Hebrews 12:6 reminds us that the Lord disciplines those He loves, just like we as earthly parents discipline our children.

One thing is for certain, God’s discipline will always be done with unconditional love. His discipline is intertwined with His mercy, and is measured out according to what He knows will benefit us most. I’ve been on the receiving end of God’s discipline. Although it doesn’t feel good, it is good for me. I’m thankful for His discipline, because it has helped me to become a better woman. I want to be all He wants me to be, and I know you do too. Part of us walking in our purpose is submitting to God’s divine discipline in our lives.

Thank you Lord for your loving discipline and your sweet mercy!

 Are you feeling like you’ve failed God today? Maybe it’s something that you did last night or last week. Maybe it’s something from your distant past that you can’t seem to shake. Whatever the case, God loves you and regardless of how you may feel right now, He has never stopped loving you. Just repent, receive His forgiveness and allow His love to begin healing your heart. His healing may happen instantly or it may happen slowly, one day at a time. Which ever way The Holy Spirit of God chooses to work in your life, He will bring healing and restoration if you will only trust Him.


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