“But the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22 & 23
Joy is not a natural response to life but it is a supernatural, Christ-like response to life. That is why the Bible calls “joy” a “fruit of the Spirit” and not of your personality. Joy is not a knee-jerk reaction to your circumstances but it is a miraculous moment in a dark and dying world when His presence is revealed through your life. The joy that you experience and demonstrate is birthed from a relationship with Him.
You were not made for depression or to demonstrate a critical spirit; you were not made for gossip or for bitterness. You were not made to give your husband the silent treatment, to create friction in the church or to yell in anger at your children. You were made for joy!
God made your human body to be a perfect carrier for the joy of heaven’s reality while living in the soil of humanity. You are a perfect fit for His joy! He made you so that He could fill your life with all of the joy that was missing on earth during your tenure here. Don’t waste one more day filled with discouragement, depression or sadness! Plant yourself in His presence until you know that you know that you know that you are filled to overflowing with one of the greatest miracles that humankind has ever experienced: the miracle of joy!
What would happen if rather than putting gas in the tank of my car that I decided to save a little bit of money and fill the gas tank with sand instead? Not only would I never reach my destination but I would also ruin the car! This is also a very sad picture of what happens when Christians try to run their lives by filling up on depression, anger or bitterness. You will never reach your destination in life and you just might ruin your opportunity to live a life of meaning and purpose while on earth.
You were designed to be a fruit-bearing Christian! You will never bear the fruit that you were designed to bear unless you hang out with Jesus. Every day … all day long just marinate in Who He is and all that He has for you. Fertilize your life with the Word of God, with worship and with prayer. To the extent that Jesus occupies your whole being is the extent to which you will produce joy!
MAKING IT PRACTICAL –
1 – Today, go back through the first 7 days of “21 Days to Beat Depression!” and re-read the Scripture verse from each day. After you have done that, turn on a favorite worship CD and spend some time just thanking God for Who He is and for what He has done for you.
2 – Guess what?! It’s time to be thankful again! Get out your “Thanksgiving in January and February” journal and record 3 more things for which you are grateful. Maybe there were no bills in the mail today … that’s something for which you can thank God! Maybe you had tomato soup for lunch and it is your very favorite! Maybe God spoke to you while you were reading this devotional plan. And … don’t forget … publicize your gratitude with #beatdepression!
I declare today that I am a carrier of heaven’s joy! My life, from this day forward, will bring joy to a lost and dying world. I declare that depression and discouragement will not fill the empty spaces in my life but that joy will be my chief commodity! When people take a bite of my life … they will taste joy!
PRAYER FOR TODAY –
“Father, I love You! I love everything about You! I am honored that You would trust me to carry the joy of heaven! I know that I have made mistakes in the past and allowed the darkness of my pain to fill my heart, but I thank You that today is a new day of joy. Fill me today with the joy of Your presence. In the matchless Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.”