Fruit of the Spirit: True Joy!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”Galatians 5:22-23 HCSB
Have you seen the movie “Inside Out”? If not, I recommend it! Anyway, the main character Riley’s life and all she knows is uprooted as her family move to San Francisco. The movie is a look inside her mind as her emotions all wrestle with adapting to change. Each emotion is a character in the movie – one of which being Joy.
I love this part of Joy’s bio:
“Joy sees challenges in Riley’s life as opportunities, and the less happy moments as hiccups on the way back to something great.”
In the movie it is Joy who is looked to as the core emotion holding Riley’s life together.
In the movie, Joy and Sadness find themselves whisked away to longterm memory in an accident (seriously you need to watch it!) leaving the other emotions, Anger, Fear, and Disgust, to control Riley’s mind. Without Joy, her life begins to fall apart, piece-by-piece, until her emotions shut down and she feels nothing.
When Joy and Sadness make it back to HQ the other emotions look to Joy to save the day, but she ushers Sadness to the control panel, seeing only she has the ability to reach into Riley’s heart in that moment. By tapping into her sad memories, Riley is able to feel again and eventually recognize joy in her situation and create core memories featuring both emotions, and move on.
True JOY holds our emotions together as we traverse the trials of life.
Do you see the challenges in your life as opportunities so something great?
Do you recognize joy through your sadness?
Last week I discovered from the original Greek that:
Joy is not linked to our circumstances or our surroundings. Joy is linked to the Grace of God!
“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”
“The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy” Matthew 13:20 NASB
Although, in this verse, Jesus is referring to the one who does not remain faithful to Him through trials or persecution, it struck me. How do I approach God’s Word? When I open my Bible, what is my attitude and mindset? Am I open to what He has to say to me in the midst of my trials and questioning? No matter what it is He has to say!
Truth is when my life feels like it is tumbling downhill faster than I can keep up with it, my Bible can be the last place I feel like turning. I want to hear comfort from my friends and family. I want to hear someone’s audible words helping me make sense of situations. When I look around and can’t understand what is happening, I sometimes struggle to look to the One who is in control.
BUT! Grace. Grace is still present and each day the Lord is showering me with His brand new mercies. He meets me with His Truth and guidance in the midst of my downhills and carries me to the safe place of His secure future.
Will you receive His Word with a settled assurance and quiet confidence today?
Will you have this joyful attitude with me?
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44 HCSB
Our joy is focussed on the grace of God providing us with the promise of an eternity in Heaven with Him when we put our faith in Him! I want to approach each day and God’s Word with this attitude — sacrificial desire. Our future treasure in Heaven should be enough to propel us forward, with a willingness to forsake everything in our lives — with joy!
If you are a Christian, today you can abandon all with a joyful settled assurance and quiet confidence of eternity in Heaven. Joy can be the core emotion enabling you to believe — God is in control and everything is going to be alright.
Especially now as we approach Easter, let’s lift our eyes from our own circumstances and look to our Savior. Let’s be like Mary and Mary and focus on running full of joy to proclaim to others that He.Is.Risen!
“And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.” Matthew 28:8 NASB
Linking up with:
Kelly Balarie #RaRaLinkup
Time Warp Wife #Titus2sDay
Crystal Storms #IntentionalTuesday