December 16, 2018

365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 16: Joy-Giver


"On that day, they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away." (Nehemiah 12:43 NIV)

On a list of characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, joy shows up early, right after love. One of the many lessons that has stayed with me ever since I did a Bible study on the fruit of the Spirit is this rather obvious but, for me, game-changing fact: it is the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of me. 

It is not our job to manufacture or dredge up love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; our job is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He produces this fruit in us. I believe this reality is reflected beautifully in God as our Joy-Giver: He gives joy...He does not order or command it. And He gives it as He gives all His good gifts: lavishly and lovingly, to every heart that will prepare Him—and the joy He brings—room. 

"I want You more than gold or silver,
Only You can satisfy.

You alone are the real Joy-Giver
And the apple of my eye."

("As the Deer," Martin J. Nystrom, 

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!