Fruit of the Holy Spirit // Joy

Father, help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world. In our desire for what you promise make us one in mind and heart. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.  But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind;  for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord. James 1:2-8

Many people take Philippians 4:13 out of context and interpret it to mean “I can do anything as long as I have Jesus at my side.” God’s strength is not something that can be put into a bottle labeled “liquid courage.” I like the way that the New American version writes it: “I have strength for everything through Him who empowers me.” If I was writing the verse, I would say “I can endure all things because Christ strengthens me.” 

How do we endure the bad times and make the most of our good times? How can we live in abundance and in humility with the same attitude? We need to live joyful lives.

Joy is not as fleeting as having fun or trying to be happy all the time. Having joy means cherishing the good times and being thankful, even when times are hard. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

Joy can help us when we are dealing with grief. We can remember the good times we had with those we lost, like how Amy and the Doctor dealt with the death of their friend Vincent Van Gogh. The Doctor said:

 “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”

 Even though Van Gogh ended up taking his own life, the Doctor and Amy felt joyful about the friendship that they had with the artist. This joy is shown when Amy sees the painting of the sunflowers and finds that Van Gogh dedicated the painting to her.

 Joy is something that we carry with us and use when times are hard. Joy gives us a sense of perspective, especially when we appreciate what we already have in our lives.

“The joy of the Lord  is our strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

To Jesus through Mary- Monique