Joy. What a wonderful gift. It is one of the fruits of the spirit and since it is a fruit, that means that it has to grow. Fruit doesn’t just appear, there are certain things that have to happen in order to grow fruit. For instance, you have to plant the fruit….then water it, and make sure it has the proper sunlight, etc. Well when it comes to joy, your first step is going to be asking God for it(and i’ve never known Him to say no, so you don’t have to worry about that). But the trickiest part of it all is what comes next…
During our day to day life, we go and go and go. And often times, that becomes so physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting. In my own personal life i have realized that i am so drained by the time a week is over that all i want to do on weekends is sleep. In addition to exhaustion, we can also become frustrated, stressed out, and unhappy. Let me tell you, trying to balance a full time job, a long distance relationship, a relationship with God, friendships, and trying to have some fun in there as well is a difficult task. They say, “welcome to adulthood” and “that’s just life sweetheart”. But sugar coating it by telling me something i already know doesn’t make it easier for any of us. Plus, it doesn’t have to be that way!
“…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10. We quote this verse all the time but i don’t think we actually understand what it is actually saying.
Because God has granted us His joy, we have strength.
Our strength lies in joy. The joy of the Lord to be exact. But here’s the catch, we have to choose to walk in joy. When we choose to walk in the joy of the Lord, we will have strength. It’s as simple as that. If you’ve asked God for joy and you’re sitting around wondering where its at, get up. Get up and go walk in it. That is the next step. If you don’t own the joy that God has granted you, what use is it? Unless you actually unwrap the gift and use it, it does you no good.
Being joyful is something that you as an individual have to decide to apply to your life. I can tell you to walk in joy, and i can even pray for you to have it but unless you make the decision that you want it, and you receive it, then my words have been wasted.
Guys, life becomes so much more enjoyable when you choose joy. Now, choosing joy doesn’t mean that you will never be sad, or upset, or tired, or exhausted. We all go through periods in our life when things may not all be going as planned. But having joy and choosing to walk in it gives you the ability to keep a smile on your face, to choose optimism, to still choose to love, to encourage others, and to rejoice in the victories no matter how big or small they are.
Nothing bad can ever come out of a joyous lifestyle. There will always be haters but when you have the joy of the Lord that won’t matter.
So go, be joyful!
lots of love and smiles,