My corner of Indiana had been covered with snow and ice for several weeks.
About the time I cleared a path to the car, snow flew through the air again. Our worship services at church were canceled for two Sundays because of a lack of parking space and because many in our small congregation were senior citizens.
On one of those Sundays, I had my own service which started with watching a worship service on television. Later, I sang and whistled, which led to a burst of joy—an unexpected blessing of praising the Lord.
God has given me other bursts of joy throughout my life. After my husband left me for another woman, I was given an indescribable joy—even in the midst of shock. It was not something I would have expected, but it was what one song describes as “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
I had to find a job to support myself. I had never worked outside the home and only had a high school education. But God was working out His plan for my life. Within three weeks, I was hired as a secretary for an organization providing help for cancer patients and their families.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The prophet chose to rejoice in the Lord. God hasn’t given the blessing of His joy because of anything I’ve done to earn it. Long ago, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and received the gift of the Holy Spirit. One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
The fruits of the Spirit cannot be earned by living a good life or by helping others. Only by accepting Jesus’ salvation and having His Holy Spirit live within us, can we have the blessings of the fruit.
Some people believe happiness and joy are interchangeable, but happiness depends on the happenings in our lives and can be elusive and short-lived. Christians can have the joy of the Lord in their lives even though their hearts are sad and troubles are knocking at their doors.
Praise the Lord for the bursts of joy He gives—when troubles threaten to overwhelm and on sun-filled days when praise comes easily. His joy can never be taken away.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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