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

I have personally been struggling with a family member’s constant negativity. This person brings down the entire room at family gatherings or events, and it’s gotten to the point where I don’t even care to share the plans my fiancé and I have been making for our upcoming wedding because of negative comments and judgmental tones I’m usually met with when I do.

I say that this is MY struggle, because we can CHOOSE joy, happiness, and positivity. Just because this family member refuses to choose joy, doesn’t mean that I have to. I’m continually working to not let this person’s negative attitude and comments affect me, because our roots determine our fruits.

When we are tested, like in areas of faith as mentioned in James chapter 1, we produce perseverance. If we lack, we need only to ask the Lord for help, whether it be with wisdom, patience, or choosing Joy. We cannot stop at asking, though. We must also have faith, for the one who doubts the Lord is ineffectual. Lacking in faith, doubting the Lord, depriving ourselves of the joy he brings, those are all the opposite of His will for us.

In what area are you struggling to accept God's joy for you?

To Jesus through Mary- Mandi

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