For a season of my life, it seemed as if every prophetic and encouraging word I received was about JOY.
“You have so much JOY!”
“You give away so much JOY.”
“I feel like Jesus wants to give you more JOY!”
“When you walk into a room you bring JOY!”
JOY JOY JOY, It’s all I heard. I started to get bummed out to be quite honest with you. In my heart I wanted to be known as someone who released miracles, someone who partnered with Jesus to bring healing, someone who made Jesus’ name famous. After a while, I heard the word JOY so frequently I almost destained any encouraging word that came with JOY.
Eventually, I asked Jesus some questions about how I was feeling. He told me I was believing the lie that the fruit of JOY in my life was an inferior gift. I thought that the gift of miracles, faith and even administration was a greater, more powerful gift than JOY was. So, I JOYFULLY admitted I was wrong.
After repenting, I went on a journey with Him to discover the power behind the fruit of JOY! I’m thrilled to share with you some things He taught me.
- I started to learn that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is a by product of yielding my life to the work of the Holy Spirit. A person recognizes the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of holiness) by the amount of JOY another person has. Contrarily, you can recognize an unholy spiritual influence by the amount of joy a person does not have.
- It is not normal for a mature Christian who has been saved for a long time to have less JOY than a new believing Christian. I started to come into the understanding that the older Christians that I saw who were disillusioned, tired, depressed or serious were not a healthy model of what Christianity was suppose to be.
- JOY is not a feeling, it is a fruit of the spirit given to anyone who chooses to have it. Therefore JOY is a choice. I get to choose to live with it or without it.
- Joy is precious and should be guarded. If I let JOY be stolen from me by another person or the enemy, it is my fault. I am powerful enough to choose to give it up, to allow it to be compromised because I didn’t protect it. But, I can choose to value it in such a way that I make sure it is not up for grabs for anyone to take from me. I have come to learn that it is too precious and valuable a gift to not fight to keep.
These educational moments and lessons changed my mindset entirely. I started to embrace JOY! I started to thank Holy Spirit for trusting me to steward His presence and fruit in the area of JOY! I started to depend on the presence of JOY in my daily life. I started to teach my kids how to manage and choose JOY. I also started making it my goal to give JOY away.
So, I invite you reader, to go on a journey with the Holy Spirit in the area of JOY. As we enter into the Christmas season and we see JOY signs everywhere, let’s ask Holy Spirit what fullness looks like as we pursue and steward JOY!
Redefined by Grace,