In the next couple weeks I am going to be looking at the fruit of the spirit, joy. This time of year seems to be the most joyful time of year. Hmmmm, I wonder why? No, seriously we have so much to be joyous about when it comes to celebrating Christmas but this joy needs to be within us throughout the year, not just in December. I guess reality sets back in. You have to go back to work, clean-up the mess in your house, deal with incoming bills, getting sick and all kinds of trouble that will come our way. The bible tells us just because we believe doesn’t mean we won’t face trials in our life. We aren’t immune to the effects of life on Earth as human beings. I have struggled with being joyful in the midst of pain that comes from the after effects of my shoulder surgery. The healing process can be painfully slow but thankfully I feel progress so when I have a particularly bad day I have that hope. Jesus’ half brother James wrote about thinking of our trials as pure joy. Our trials are the catalyst of change. They will help strengthen us and mature us and they will lead to our completion. Think of yourself as a lump of clay and God is working you into a beautiful sculpture. Having joy when you feel depressed, down or angry about life is a challenge that we cannot overcome on our own. We have to call on the Holy Spirit to help us have this fruit especially when those trials hit us in the face. In the trials that lie ahead of us in the coming year, try to remember to call on the Holy Spirit to give you all that you need, especially joy. I will make a prayer card to have at work when I face a lot of my trials so that I will be prepared.
Holy Spirit, The stuff I am facing now is too hard for me to bare on my own. I need your help. Help me to be filled with joy despite what may be happening in my life. Let me have a smile in my heart that God is masterfully working his creation into a beautiful sculpture. With You All Things Are Possible! Amen.
James 1:2-4 My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of is as pure joy. Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. The strength to keep going must be allowed to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need.