Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Understanding and Embracing Joy

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11)

Money may be able to buy happiness, but joy is an entirely different matter. Joy doesn’t come from without; it comes from within.

Joy may be an exuberant, abandoned emotion, like the one David felt and expressed upon bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the city of Jerusalem. It may be a deep seated feeling of contentment, so exceptionally filled with wonder and awe that it is inexpressible. It is always dependent upon the willingness to abide in God through the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

Blossom.Bee

Flowers of Joy

by Diana Rasmussen

There are seeds of joy
Planted in my heart
May not look like much
But this is only the start

They may be buried
Under black dirt and grime
But the Master Gardner
Put them deep inside

They didn’t come from a store
Not from a magazine
They were tears that God cried
Especially for me

Just when I thought
That He hadn’t seen
He planted those seeds
Inside my deepest despair

For every pain suffered
And in spite of abuse
He sowed in darkness
As He dug and He wept

The ground may be dark but
His light brings forth life
As despair cracks open
When new life and joy sprout

Sorrow sowed in the ground
Watered with God’s love
The tears that we cried
Bloom into flowers of JOY!

~~~

“You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy…So also you will have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you…Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:20,22,24)

Joy isn’t dependent upon things or circumstances. It is an intrinsic connection that is always there between you and the One who made you. This connection is the Spirit of truth, the one sent from Jesus and the Father to “teach you everything and will remind you of everything” Jesus told you. (John 14:17,26, 15:26)

How else could the apostle Paul have survived severe beatings and living in chains in a Roman jail? Paul thrived because he looked not to his surroundings for joy. He looked to the Lord in Whom he found joy, enabling him to bring joy to his surroundings and circumstances.

There have been so many times I have been tempted to let circumstances steal my joy. I have gone days, weeks, sometimes months in doubt, distrust and depression. Then, something awakens in me. I see a small light.  And I remember, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

The Holy Spirit lights the warm and glowing firelight in me. He reminds me of Jesus’ words. It is he who strengthens me to feel the joy arise and push the enemy away.

Honor and majesty surround the Lord; strength and joy fill His dwelling place.” (1 Chronicles 16:27)

God used to reside in a temple in Jerusalem. Now, since He has placed the Holy Spirit inside us, His dwelling place is within. The same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, the same Spirit who lived in the apostles is the same Spirit who lives in you (Romans 8:11). You know Him because He lives with you and in you (John 14:17). He has given you unique gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11). He prays for you when you can’t (Romans 8:26). He convicts you of sin (John 16:8). He gives you words when you can’t speak on your own (Luke 12:12). He grieves for you (Isaiah 63:10), He reminds you of Jesus’ words (John 14:26).

Call on this same Holy Spirit to guide you back to joy.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Flowers of Joy Copyright 2014, Diana Rasmussen.

Diana’s blog is called Prayers and Promises  http://www.prayersandpromises.org .

Diana is a Music Minister, Freelance Writer, and Advocate for Domestic Violence Awareness and Social Change. Her music has won several awards and focuses on overcoming adversity, breaking free from domestic violence, and living beyond depression.

This post can also be seen on Mind’s Seat, www.marmarthunder.wordpress.com

33 comments

  1. Your writing is equally a JOY, Susan. I am eager for the next devotion. Idiotwriter spoke to my ailing heart today with the response I needed to read…..”all is well with our soul”…God gives me joy in those words..His promises and His love. I have truly found joy even in this terrible grief that has softened with time. God’s love for me…for my son…for my family and friends is immeasurable.

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    1. So glad to hear that you grief is softening, Dale, and that you have a community who speaks to your heart. And that brings joy to mine.

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  2. Just had to say I love the style, intermingling poetry, Scripture, and reflections. Well done.

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    1. Thank you. From you, that’s truly a compliment. Blessings, love and prayers for the Lenten season!

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  3. Love it, sister! Well written, and depicting the truth of life, happiness, and living as you convey the reason for why I write and why others write: gathering the strength and finding happiness within ones soul. To live a life worth living through Christ. Peace and love, continue on this journey as I’m hooked 🙂 beautiful poetry as well. Your thoughts convey clear purpose and strength.

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    1. Thank you so very much. Always uplifting to hear the thoughts of another sister in Christ. Bless you. 🙂

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      1. Bless you and may peace be with you!

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  4. Lovely, inspirational and uplifting. Always a joy to read your posts, Susan. Making the world a more understandable and safer place, through your interpretations. It is always good to remember the strength and conviction of Paul and Christ, through their extreme trials. Puts our own small sufferings into perspective. I needed this reminder. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Beth. Always so glad when you stop by and comment. It means a lot.

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  5. Lovely poem and I pray for joy. Bless you Susan for this encouraging and uplifting post.

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    1. Thank you, Sherri. Doing my best to spread it as far as I can. Bless you.

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  6. Beautiful post Susan. As always, you never fail to provide a complete, spiritual message of God’s love and how we are able to obtain everything God promises in his Word when we allow him access to our life. Thanks for the words of wisdom. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much! Have a Son-filled Sunday, my sister.

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      1. You’re welcome. You do the same my sister.

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  7. Joyful to read. A lovely reminder of the light within. Hope in darkness. x

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    1. Thank you so much. I am heartened by the responses, and pray that love and light are traveling.

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  8. Love this. Awesome post.

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    1. Thank you so much.

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      1. Blessings to you Susan! I like your series. So important!

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  9. Thank you 🙂
    I’m fighting off a cold and this was perfect ❤

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    1. Sometimes it’s the small things that kick us off the joy train, isn’t it?

      I’m praying now for a warm, snuggly blanket, some hot tea, a great movie and lots of peaceful rest. (sounds good – a may just do that myself, even without the cold!) 😉

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      1. Thank you 🙂 and also the treasure of precious friends 😉

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  10. […] Fruit of the Spirit: Joy. […]

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  11. […] Here is an excerpt from Susan’s Blog today on Joy […]

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  12. Just beautiful my friend. I love the seeds you are planting with this series. “His dwelling place is within” – I am so grateful for that. Blessings to you my sis, Diana

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    1. So happy you liked the post, Diana. Thank you again for the beautiful poem that lifted it out of the ordinary.

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  13. Nicely done Susan 😀

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      1. Just read this again 😉
        It is an amazing thing how joy and sorrow can mix together? In the darkest most awful times – that is when we find out what joy is. The ability to not be defeated by our emotions maybe. To KNOW intrinsically even in the midst of the greatest adversity that all is well with our soul. Happiness and sadness are passing ‘feelings’ JOY – is a constant because it does not stem from our humanity. 😀 Just what I think really 😉

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      2. Exactly – not to be defeated or controlled by our emotions. And it’s so very difficult when we’re IN IT to look up and remember that. We all forget, but God’s grace helps us gently find our way back.

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