I have learned that love is the basis for everything in my life and from it spring the fruit of the Spirit. God’s perfect love for us drives out fear “perfect love casteth out fear” and his great love for us is not dependent on how bad we are. God gave his love and “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”
Without knowing what unconditional love is and experiencing it – nothing is ever enough. I have learned that God’s love is timeless and limitless. By it I am free and have begun to learn to give and receive love in a more powerful way. God says love never fails and that we should have the mind of Christ – so little lambs we can know this love and share it. Today I wanted to write about joy in the fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit is the key and without asking the Spirit to help me, I might as well hang it up. I do not have any of these fruits if left to myself.
Strength comes from joy. I know it sounds misleading but hear me out. I was listening to a message this week and wanted to share some of the ideas that it prompted in my heart. I always have side table discussion with myself when I hear something because I am evaluating things constantly. Here’s the thing. Why do we live and cling and cower when we are supposed to live an abundant life? Did Jesus die so we could just merely survive? Was he bruised for our transgressions so that we can just meagerly make it? What I am saying is this; the joy of the Lord is my strength. Wait, joy equals strength? I thought if you were strong you would automatically have joy because strong folks do not get run over by life and do not struggle and fail. We have to be careful in defining strong. Sometimes it is an insult to people to think that they are just strong. Every strong thing in the universe becomes strong by a stressor not by just being.
Well that is the key strong folks don’t do those things but get this, they are not strong and then have joy, they have joy in the Lord which makes them strong. Something inside is driving them like a power plant giving them energy when things seem hopeless and giving them the last mile that folks always tell us we are supposed to go. Something inside gives them joy when life is not picture perfect. That power is the love of Christ inside. It is revealed as this world challenges and has always challenged His existence. It’s a given that Christ in us is going to be challenged. Women of strength and valor are that way because of the love God had when he allowed the indwelling of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Lesson one in moving on.
Here’s a great question. Is there anything bigger in your mind than your pain, or your suffering, or your past, or your relationship with another? Are you getting me, if there is nothing in your life bigger than your problems, then your faith is misplaced. IF your mind wraps around your pain, suffering, and trials as you emotionally curl up and think nothing is ever going to change, then your faith is in your pain.
Trust the one who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross. Joy was the end result of doing something bigger than his pain. You heard me it was joy leading the way to the cross for Jesus who not only is the author of our faith but the finisher as well. It was a shameful endurance all the while joyful for HIM. Wow what an example!
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.