"The joy of the LORD is your strength!"
That's just about all the average person has heard ... and thus also say!
I say 'average person'; that may infer a stark unbeliever, an unchurched person, a church-goer who has not committed their life to the Saviorship and Lordship of Christ; or indeed a child of God who's rusty in the depth of the knowledge of the Word of God.
Whoever this applies unto, we ALL know, first, that JOY is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit | Galatians 5:22-23. Second, we are assured that there will be dark clouds in our lives' existential living. It's just a matter of when. And when such billows of time happen upon us, we know that we cannot navigate such heaviness in our own strength! This is why the Father-God had bequeathed unto us the Holy Spirit! Along with JOY, the Spirit of God produces such other fruits as love, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
Now, the question is: 'How do I get these fruits of the Spirit?
The Word of God is clear on how! By the receipt of the gift of salvation that the Father-God offers us all through the propitiating sacrifice of our LORD Jesus Christ on the Cross. And once His Gift is accepted and received, supernaturally - almost inexplicably because it surpasses human understanding - takes residence in our hearts. Like a Tree, we begin to cultivate His fruits. It is thus, our responsibility, to CULTIVATE the fruits of the Tree!
Are you busy cultivating these fruits? Because this cultivation is NOT only meant for days of dark clouds alone; there will be days whereby after you have triumphantly overcome your own sad, gloomy, cloudy days, you will encounter some others who are just encountering theirs. For such a season also, are you prepared of God:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:2-4).
HERE'S THE COMPLETE MIND OF FATHER-GOD IN NEHEMIAH 8:10
Then Ezra said to them, “Go [your way], eat the rich festival food, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be worried, for the joy of the LORD is your strength and your stronghold.” | Amplified Version.
God commanded His prophet Ezra to command the people in today's English: "EAT. DRINK. BE MERRY. SEND PORTIONS OUT TO THOSE FOR WHOM NOTHING IS PREPARED. TODAY, IS A HOLY DAY UNTO THE LORD, AND CARE LESS FOR ANY ATTACKS OF GLOOMY DARK CLOUDS BECAUSE THE JOY GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT GIVES IS BOTH YOUR STRENGTH AND REPOSE! HALLELUYAH!"
Now, read that and incorporate that into your everyday living and see how joy bubbles up in your heart! Make it a happy day, week, month, year - and indeed, existence!
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Looking forward to welcoming you!
Photo credit: Tammy Schroeder, Manitoba, Canada. Tammy, a Swish Model, an actress, and a voice coach is also a freelance photographer when not at the office. Copyrighted photo used by permission and must not be reproduced, stored, or altered without the written permission of the owner!