The second category of seeds produced by the extra-ordinary Holy Spirit fruit can be a little confusing to some of us. It is joy!
It can be confusing because we often mistake happiness for it.
But there is a difference.
Happiness is based on emotions and as such is fickle; but being emotional creatures, we relate more easily to it.
Once the situation changes from a positive to a negative one however, happiness tends to fly out of the window.
Let me explain.
Happiness says, “I feel good Lord, and because of that I praise you.”
Joy says, “Inspite of the fact that I am not feeling well Lord, I will praise you.”
The difference is not so subtle.
Happiness depends on the situation.
Joy is present always, regardless of the situation.
Christians can rejoice in whatever circumstances because they know that their Redeemer is with them, by their side, in the midst of the situation they are going through.
Christians can say like Isaiah, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord Himself is my strength and my defense…” (Isa. 12:12)
Christians can be hopeful because they trust that God is working everything for their good. (Roman’s 8:28)
Being joyful doesn’t mean that we are thrilled to be going through the situation.
Not at all.
Surely the apostles weren’t happy to be imprisoned. Nevertheless, it is recorded in Acts 16:25 that, “…Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God…”
Being joyful means that we do not allow the situation we are in to weigh us down.
Instead, we keep our focus on God, and we give it all to Him. “Come to me all who are weary and burdened…”, Jesus beckons in Matthew 11:28.
People without God have an excuse. What’s ours?
Let us allow the seeds of joy to be seen in us in 2019.
Let people look at the way we respond to our circumstances and long to know what it is that allows us to maintain a joyful attitude.
What a testimony of God’s goodness that would be!
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May God bless you!