Galatians 5:22-26 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
All of these seeds of fruit come from God. We have them, but we must choose to walk in them so that they may grow. We have to water them with God’s Word especially when we feel ourselves responding with the opposite. Many times our joy (along with the other fruits of the Spirit) is stolen because we are walking in our flesh through conceit, provoke, and envy. When the devil can distract us with lies and comparison, then he can steal our joy. If he can steal our joy, then he knows that we will become weak.
Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV)
10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
We cannot let the enemy catch us weak. Our hope must always be fixed on Jesus. Our joy must come in knowing that His plans for us are perfect and that every season serves its purpose. Even in our imperfections and irritations, God is with us and concerned about all things that concern us. We can’t let the enemy oppress us and depress us into viewing a false image of our identity. We were all made for greatness. He wants us to have peace, but we must seek Him.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
So on days like today... When I need a break... When I’m questioning all of my choices because of the way that I feel... I must remember to choose joy to give me strength. Maybe I need to pray a little longer today, let go a little more. Maybe I need to take a good look in the mirror and ask God who He sees. Maybe I just need to wash His feet with my tears and let it all out…… but this I know for sure, I must keep moving forward. I must keep my eyes on Him and not lose faith. I must remember every promise, and intentionally choose to walk in the Spirit.
My bad day, doesn’t surprise or overwhelm God or change my destiny/promise. It only tests my faith and maturity. I am in control of my responses (self-control is also a fruit of the Spirit). So are you. So I challenge you today to purposefully choose joy. Pray your way out of feeling heavy, praise your way out of bondage. Laugh in the enemy’s face knowing that He has been defeated by the cross. Jesus is and will always be enough. Keep pushing forward and get refreshed in His presence.
Father, we thank You for the fruit of the Spirit. Forgive us for not consistently choosing to use it. Thank you for being merciful in all of our imperfections. We seek You today searching for truth and purpose in our situations. Show us how to respond with self-control. Teach us how to use joy, even when we don’t feel like it. Make us doers of your Word and not hearers only. Help us get over ourselves, even on days like this. We trust You Lord and know that we are victorious and made for a purpose. Help us walk our paths with diligence and wisdom as we seek You for continual guidance. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!