- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- How to Write
A close friend of mine told me the other day that she started listing out the fruits of the spirit at the end of the day and circling the ones she needs to work on. This challenged me. So I have started the same thing, but I decided to do a study on the ones that I seem to be lacking in. This way I have a complete understanding of them and how I can make those my strengths. As I started down my list I thought oh this could take awhile. I seem to be lacking in a few areas. The first fruit of the spirit I came to that I knew needed some work was joy. As I studied the word joy I seemed to have found that joy is not necessarily what I thought it was. Many times in the bible the word joy is paralleled to hardship, pain, suffering, or persecution. (James 1:2-3, Nehemiah 2:10, John 16:22) I found this odd, but as I continued to study I realized why this was. One scripture that comes to mind immediately is “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Another one is sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. As I continued my study I soon realized there is so much more to joy than just being happy, smiling, or being a bubbly person. You see another commonality between these scriptures is the word rejoice. Give God the praise. As I look at my life today I know I have so much to be thankful for, but I want something deeper that makes me want to rejoice. Then I came across Romans 14:17. How could Jesus possibly find joy in the midst of such turmoil that actually caused him to sweat blood? The first word when I think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is definitely not joy. Then it hit me, “joy comes in the morning”. Joy is having a depth of faith in God that you know without any doubt that God is in control. Joy comes by going through the sorrow, hardship, pain suffering or persecution and yet knowing that God is in control, that he truly knows the plans he has for you and that his will is good and perfect. Knowing that God will never give you more than you can handle and standing on the solid rock of Christ and Being confident that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6). So as I face the many trials of life I choose to rejoice in the Lord because I know the plans he has for me and Plans to prosper me and plans to give me a hope and a future. Even though I may not always be laughing or have a smile on my face, the joy of the Lord, the knowledge that he is in control and therefore I choose to rejoice and praise his name, is truly my strength. I challenge you to look at the fruit in your life. What areas can you work on so that God is so strong through you that men will truly glorify our father in heaven.