Posted by: Larry Hoekman | May 6, 2015

Fruit of the Spirit — Joyful Living!

Day 1971: God’s mercy is new every morning – the reason to be joyful!!!

Scripture:  I can be joyful because I have hope.  Romans 12:12a   My weeping might last for the night, but God’s joy will be mine in the morning.  Psalms 30:5b

Thoughts/questions:  Life becomes more difficult when we center our attention on a by-product of a goal and not the goal itself.  For example, when I was coaching, I finally realized that my athletes performed better, won more, and played much more consistently when their goal was to do their best, not winning. Winning is a by-product of a team/person doing their best, and the wrong goal in athletics can even change the outcome of a game.  Highly favored teams or teams which got big leads too early, have lost because they focused on winning, not simply doing their best the entire game. By-products cannot become goals.

Joy is defined as ‘something that brings happiness.’  So our goal should never be ‘to be happy’ as happiness is the by-product of seeking the true goal – Joy, God’s nature given to us as a fruit of His Spirit!  This results in a living a much more consistent life without the major ups and downs of seeking to be happy – that elusive feeling of pleasure.

This is why our weeping only lasts for the night – when difficult times arise, it is hard to have joy.  However, as time goes by (illustrated by the night turning to morning), we have time to re-orient our thinking from our present circumstances to God’s plans and promises for us.  We can have Joy, because we have hope!!  Life on earth is often hard, but knowing the living God of the universe has a specific plan and purpose for everything that happens to me and Jesus loves me despite all of my inadequacies – that brings me joy! and I trust it does the same for you!

Suggested prayer:  Lord, when I feel joyful, remind me to praise You.  When my circumstances drag me down, remind me of Your plans for me and how much You love me . . .

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