Our Bible verse for today: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy … Galatians 5:22 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Cultivate joy.”
In Galatians 5:22-23 the Apostle Paul lists what he termed “the fruit of the Spirit”. These are character traits that the Holy Spirit develops in a Christian’s life as that person grows in spiritual maturity. The passage reads: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Joy is one of the attributes the Holy Spirit develops in us as we mature in Christ. But we have to want it and we have to cultivate it. This involves being intentional in all the ways we’ve been considering this month – prayer, Bible reading, blessing others, surrounding yourself with happy and upbeat people, worship and counting your blessings, listening to Christian music, enjoying good clean comedy, and other activities that lift your spirit and cause you to laugh and be joyful.
True joy is usually found in the simple things in life. In his book “Laugh Again” Pastor Chuck Swindoll observed that:
“The happiest people are rarely the richest, or the most beautiful, or even the most talented. Happy people do not depend on excitement and ‘fun’ supplied by externals. They enjoy the fundamental, often very simple things of life … they savor the moment, glad to be alive, enjoying their work, their families, the good things around them. They are adaptable; they can bend with the wind, adjust to the changes in their times, enjoy the seasons in life, and feel themselves in harmony with the world. Their eyes are turned outward; they are aware, compassionate. They have the capacity to love.”
Joyful people who laugh easily and often are usually intentional about being that way. They pursue joy rather than waiting for it to come to them.
I encourage you to pursue joy. Be intentional about cultivating a bright and sunny disposition. Be a lighthearted person who laughs easily and often. Find humor even in situations that might otherwise cause frustration or discouragement. Pastors do this all the time. We make it a point to laugh about much of the sillier aspects of church life.
For instance, have you ever wondered why casual Christians even bother to change churches? I mean seriously, does it really matter which church you stay home from? (Sorry, that’s a bit of dark Pastor-humor late on a Sunday night. A little snarky but still funny. Lol)