“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23, AMP)
Father, I thank You that I do not have to manufacture joy. It is the result of Your presence, the fruit of Your Spirit within me. I have joy. Thank You for the grace to choose joy today.
Other posts in the Advent 2017 series can be found here.
Joining Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday Community for our weekly writing adventure. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is “Control.”
Control. There is a peace which comes from accepting there are limits to what I can control. To accepting that, more often than not, and especially when other people are involved in the equation, I have less control than I may think.
Control. There is a peace that comes with accepting that I have less of it than maybe I would like. But this acceptance does not give me a waiver to be irresponsible, to say whatever and do whatever I choose. Rather, it frees me to focus my attention and efforts on developing self-control.
Self-control. My Father clearly communicates this is a trait He expects me to have. This is evident in both the Old and New Testaments. From verses such as Proverbs 16:32 which states, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city,” to 2 Peter 1:4-7, which instruct me to “make every effort” to add self-control to knowledge.
Thankfully, self-control is also a component of the fruit of the Spirit, so I do not have to give in to despair when I fall short of the mark. Instead, I can yield to Him with the confidence that He is effectually working in me, giving me both the desire and ability to do what pleases Him.
Father, I thank You that I do not have to manufacture joy. It is the result of Your presence within me. I have joy. Thank You for the grace to choose joy today.
This is week three of the Advent season. I searched various resources for a definition of joy but all seemed to come up short. Then I found this quote:
“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
And it helped me understand my dissatisfaction with the definitions I saw in the dictionaries and other resources; in those resources, joy was related to circumstances, as shown in the following example, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” But we who accepted His gift of salvation know it is possible to experience joy in adverse circumstances, because of the reasons given in His written Word:
He is our joy:
“Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God” (Psalm 43:4, NIV; emphasis added).
Joy is a component of the fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV; emphasis added).
And in God’s presence there is fullness of joy:
“You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore”
(Psalm 16:11, AMP; emphasis added).
As we go through this week, may we do so with the knowledge that He is our joy, with a renewed awareness of His constant presence with us, and with a steady yielding to His Spirit.
NIV – New International Version
AMP – Amplified Bible