Thursday, November 12, 2020
Forty Days of Proclamation: Joy
Galations 5:23 “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
I chose the word joy for 2020. The gift of the Holy Spirit and the fruit it produces within us shows us how to live as Jesus lived. It is the most basic, seemingly easy, way to show our love to God and to share our love of God. The fruit of the spirit is everything good and it is a touch point for my personal spiritual journey. Joy has always seemed to be just beyond my grasp, my understanding, and the fruit I craved. I accepted Jesus into my heart, asked for forgiveness, repented, prayed, read, listened, shared and committed to a relationship with God. Why could I not find joy? What was I missing? Was I not worthy? Please know I have had more blessings in my life than I could have ever prayed for in my wildest prayers. I am forever thankful and humbled. Yet, I have had battles that I cannot win that continue to deplete me over and over in spite of my prayers, in spite of my trying to change, to learn and “be better”, to deserve joy.
There is no checklist to earn joy. All I have to do is accept Jesus into my heart and keep the faith. Being faithful is up to me. God is there, always has been and always will be with the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is mine for the taking and sharing, but I’ve learned joy takes courage. That is probably the word I really needed for 2020 - courage. I need to let go of the fear of the unknown. I need to trust God’s plans and know I’m included in God’s plan. He made me to fulfill a purpose in his plan and God is good, so we know it is a plan for good. When I enter my long, dark tunnel of despair without my headlamp, I’ll never get to the end of the tunnel. I will move forward until I lose sight of everything, then I will stop, get stuck and stay there, or I will turn around and go back to what I know. It is easier to go backward to what I know, seems safer, than pushing ahead into the unknown. I need God to keep moving me forward, inch by inch, to the light at the end of the tunnel. I cannot do it alone. I have to fully trust and believe (even though I cannot see) or I will never get to experience the joy of the Holy Spirit. I need to reach out and hold tight to the one who can fill me up until I overflow.
Additional Verses: John 15:11, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:8
Dear Lord, thank you for the beautiful gift of your Holy Spirit. I so want to be filled with your joy until it overflows to all those you have placed in my path. What a wonderful way to share your love. I pray for your guidance and grace, strength and courage to live my purpose according to your plan. Amen