Have you ever noticed that happiness isn’t a fruit of the Spirit? You can’t really find a promise for happiness anywhere in the Bible. Joy? Yes. Delight? Yes. Peace? Yes. Hope? Yes; again. So what is the difference between each of these and happiness? One can be made manifest in the flesh, while the latter is a fruit that is produced by the Spirit. Happiness is temporal, it is based on the circumstances around us. If we are downtrodden then the happiness we long for seems to evade us. However, Joy can be had despite persecution, despite disadvantages… truly despite any circumstances. Joy is a fruit that we produce when the follow after the Spirit. So how do we continually manifest joy?
Firstly, we continually choose joy
Often times we are not in the habit of continually choosing joy. Joy is actually not even our first few responses when the difficulty of life seems to make its way center stage. However, James tells us “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trails.” (James 1:2). I believe one the keys to maintaining joy is our perspective on whatever trials, tests, temptations, or attacks we face. If our trust is placed fully in the Father, than we are able to count it all joy. We have been hidden in Christ and now are joint heirs with Him who is seated at the right hand of the Father, are we too not seated in heavenly places? When we are actually setting our mind on things that are above and not on the things of earth, than joy is a fruit we CHOOSE to produce.
Secondly, remain in a state of surrender
We should not be held and bogged down by the cares of the world, however, the cares of the world seem to affect those who are not fully surrendered to the Father. The Spirit has often taken me back to the garden of Gethsemane, where our beloved Brother prayed that if there was ANY OTHER WAY then for the Father to allow this “cup” to pass from Him, “but nevertheless not my will but Yours be done.” Jesus made a decision in the garden, and before then as well. He wanted what the Father wanted, He trusted the Father without fault, and therefore he was completely surrendered to the Father. Being that Jesus wanted the Fathers will more than He desired His own way, He was able to endure. When times got tough, Jesus didn’t waiver, it had already been decided. We at times wait until we are in a certain situation to seek after the joy of the Lord, but we are unable to because we are being tossed to and fro, manipulated by the circumstances because our flesh has ruled.
Finally, Limit distractions
What is stealing your joy and why? When we evaluate what is stealing our joy, we open ourselves for the Spirit to expose areas of our lives that may not be completely surrendered to the Lord or perhaps an area where our flesh is still ruling. One example of where I would lose my joy would be in the mornings when my children wake up needy. The mornings are my time where I like to just sit in silence and peace. For the last few weeks my children have been thrown out of their routine of play; so now every morning I don’t get to sit and do my writings. It got to the point where I was about to explode, why? Because if we are not producing, walking, and manifesting joy, its anthesis reigns. However, in pursuing the perfected man, I realize I cannot be ruled by my flesh, I must be led by the Spirit. So when calling on the Spirit for revelation, He actually showed me that I wasn’t connecting very well with my children. With this lack of connection they were becoming more and more needy. The Spirit always has a solution, He always has an answer, He is always willing to lead us to the perfected man the distractions we all have will differ from person to person, often, it when we partake of the world or relish in flesh, we will lose our joy. Neither of this can produce the Kingdom which our Spirit desires.
The Father has a plan for each of His children, He desires to have a deep relationship, one that is reflective in that of Christ. As we are growing and maturing we are beginning to walk in deeper revelation. By allowing the Spirit to quicken us, we then produce the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit wars agains the works of flesh. As we know, the flesh will never inherit the Kingdom of God. I continually ask the Spirit what in my life has not come under the control of the King, what is trying to exalt itself above the knowledge of God. Our Father is faithful, His desire for us to become matured sons has no rival, when we become purposed in pursuing the Kingdom we begin to crucify the flesh. We than position ourselves to reap the blessing of the Spirit as compared to the corruption of the flesh.
Just my morning thoughts 3/10/18