I want to share with you an “impression” I have been carrying in my heart and praying over diligently. I sense a real degree of spiritual opposition taking place trying to keep us from fully stepping into the character of Jesus known as the fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is God working in our lives to build in us the character of Christ. His desire is for us to live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit and display the fruit of the Spirit at every point in our lives. I specifically want to focus on the aspect of Joy.
This opposition reminds me of how valuable joy is in the life of the children of God and how much the enemy does not want to see this grow in our lives. The Joy of the Lord is our strength and we need all the strength we can get.
This joy gives us the ability to rejoice in any situation, hope in the darkest of times and expect God’s goodness no matter the circumstance. Joy displaces sorrow, discouragement, depression and hopelessness. Joy gives us the ability to keep on keeping on and gives us the assurance we will make it through.
A few ways to grow in Joy:
- Welcome the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and will not force His way on us, even when it is for our benefit. Saying yes to all the Holy Spirit desires for us opens the door for God to work in our lives to develop and display the maturity, character and works of Christ.
- Begin to cultivate joy in your life. The starting place for joy is gratitude. Let’s take time everyday to practice being thankful. As we recount the things God has blessed us with we will quickly sense joy rising. Joy displaces sorrow, and quenches anger. Joy lifts our spirit and brightens our countenance. According to Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine.”
- Draw close to Jesus. Drawing close to Jesus brings fullness of joy. John 15:11 says “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. Psalm 16:11 declares “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
- Look to the Bible for joy. Look up scriptures referring to joy, or rejoicing. See how joy has operated in the lives of others and how it relates to God.
- Be Vigilant in pursuing and preserving Joy. No passivity allowed. It sounds funny but, war for your joy. Joy is not for someone else, it is for you! Joy is not a personality trait, it is a promise from God for you. Do not allow anything or anyone steal your joy.
- Pass it on. Let your joy show! Fulfill the instruction of Philippians 4:4 and “rejoice in the Lord always!”
Real Christians are people of JOY! I am praying for you to be filled with overflowing joy!