A trait most want to exhibit. But sadly, it often eludes us.
Dire circumstances. Unmet expectations. Hurtful people. Irrational feelings. A plethora of reasons come to mind.
I have sought to be a joyful person. (You, too?) I want to find joy in each day and live joyfully throughout my life. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don’t.
I completed a Bible plan on YouVersion recently called Righteous Roots in the Heart by Julie Gossack. It’s about the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians, chapter 5. I have thoroughly enjoyed this plan and can’t recommend it enough. It is a great plan to go through with your children.
I won’t relay the entire plan to you but do want to share with you some things she wrote about JOY. Oh, it was so powerful. Gossack writes this about JOY:
- It’s a gladness of heart produced by the Holy Spirit.
- It permeates our disposition despite trial, heartache or pain.
- It’s an attitude of spirit that is fixed upon eternal glories and heavenly blessings so much that the sorrows of earth do not cause our soul to despair.
Here’s my paraphrase of her statements:
You can’t produce joy. Neither can I. But when we choose to have a “glad heart,” it shows up in our lives. It can’t not. And when it’s there, it makes its way through every crack and crevice in our lives no matter what circumstance or mindset that is trying to cripple us. Even through the pain and discomfort life brings, our eyes are not set on earth, but instead, we are gazing upon the things that await us one day in our true home.
Sound about right? Easy peasy, no?
Gossack goes on to write three declarations that we can make about ourselves:
- I will rejoice when others receive good.
- I will remember all God’s goodness on my behalf.
- I am content with God’s sovereign gifts.
So, what’s the bottom line when it comes to JOY?
A heart of gratitude. When we “remember all God’s goodness on our behalf” we can’t help but be thankful.
Do you have a place to live?
Do you have friends who care about you?
Do you have food to eat?
Do you have a job that provides for you?
I could go on and on about the “do yous” but I won’t. You know how God has been good to you. So, if you are struggling with JOY as your disposition and stance in life, consider thanking Him for the ways He has blessed you, provided for you and secured your eternity through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
And do it everyday.
Lord, help me not to see with earthly eyes.
1 Peter 1:8-9