Fruit of the Spirit: Day 3



Today's Text: Psalm 16:1-11, Psalm 43:3-4, John 16:19-24, James 1:2-4

You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.

- Psalm 16:11, HCSB -

This spring has been one of the rougher seasons for our family. We’re coming off 12 weeks (yes, 3 months) of solid illness and injury, and I’m figuratively and literally limping to the finish line. An examination of my googling history tells the story. I’ve searched everything from “Benadryl dosages for itchy kids” to “physical therapists for herniated disc,” “rare skin rashes” to “do the terrible twos automatically end on the third birthday?” (I’m still holding out hope on that last one.)

So when asked to share about joy today, I admittedly lifted my still sinus-infected head to the heavens and said, “Really, God?! You’re giving me joy?” I confess that lately my life has felt, in a word, joyless.

I’ve done all the “joy capturing” exercises in an attempt to shape up. I’ve made the gratitude lists, numbering those things that give me moments of happiness in my day: matcha lattes, husband-emptied dishwashers, YouTube videos of pets underestimating the distance from the coffee table to the couch. I’ve searched so hard to see every blessing in my life and my present circumstances. And yet, amid grief and hardship and hurts, I come up short.

It turns out joy is kinda like the car keys that slipped between the cushions of my favorite easy chair—I’m looking for it in all the wrong places.

True joy is not something that can be conjured up or willed. Joy exists apart from our control—we simply choose whether or not to enter in. Joy, the Psalmist tells us, is given in God’s presence. It will never end, never fall short, never disappoint (Psalm 16:11).

Joy is not momentary pleasure—it is the deep and lasting condition of our relationship with God this world cannot steal away. Christ tells us, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22, NIV).

My exercises of gratitude for things of this world cannot produce because joy is not a fruit of our work, our circumstances or ourselves. Joy is a fruit of God’s Spirit. It is a manifestation of who He is, a result of the heart-transforming power of Jesus Christ in us.

We are commanded time and time again in Scripture to “rejoice,” “be joyful” and even consider trials as “pure joy.” Why? Because Jesus is always, always worthy of our rejoicing. If we label our lives as joyless, it is due to our misplaced hope and pleasure in things of the world rather than the joy of our salvation.

So, I have a new joy exercise plan. I will admit the wrong places, albeit sometimes good places (my family, my work, my community), where I am looking for joy and surrender them to God. I will ask the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of joy in my life with the prayer, “Lord, remind me of the joy I have because of what You have done!” I will—joyfully!—look to His Word and rest in His promises.

Then I will hit my knees, bow my still sinus-infected head and pray, Really, God. YOU are my joy.

For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
- Psalm 92:4, ESV

Sarah Matheny is an ever-growing, ever-changing gal, laughing and living in the Pacific Northwest. One-time attorney, food blogger, and author, all-the-time wife and mom to three wild-eyed, spunky girly girls, she’s passionate about her family, her friends and growing in her walk with Christ as He dishes up an always unpredictable, but totally delicious life.


  • Brightgirl KD

    I too have felt like I am in a joyless season and sometimes feel like joy is something I have to manufacture. But just like LOVE, real joy can’t be generated within myself. Just asking God to give me these fruits and that I would receive them and they would grow in my life effortlessly just as a result of abiding in Him. I do find a lot of joy in the things of the world He has made (and nothing wrong with that) but I’m starting to see how the deeper joy I’m thirsting for is a completely different thing!


    SOOOOO GOOD! Thank you!

  • Omnia Koumi

    I’m really encouraged by this message because I don’t have to have joy in the word. Instead, Joy come from Him and what he has done.

  • Rachel Setliffe

    My dad was in hospital for a year it was tough but there were always the things that made it better like free parking and ice cream on the ward god will give you joy in the hardest places

  • Stephanie Garcia

    Joy is not momentary— it’s a long-lasting condition of our relationship with God. It’s so easy to forget this and look for joy in all the wrong places… it’s not something we create or buy but a manifestation of God. It’s always there, waiting for us to recognize and embrace it!

  • Barbara Wise

    Last night I learned that a dear friend is at a place with her cancer that her husband described her as already “having one foot in heaven”. Reading this message this morning spoke deeply to my heart. The fruit of the Spirit most evident in my firiend’s life was joy. Knowing that she will know the fullness of that joy in Christ’s heavenly presence is great comfort and hope. Remembering today that because His Spirit lives in me I can walk daily in Christ’s presence and the joy there will never fall short, never disappoint, never end.

  • Jenna Harris

    For me to go into what I came through before I knew real joy… would take up far too much of this page. But God has taken me on this journey. I still fail sometimes to walk in Him fully. But God has shown me tremendous mercy by making me lose nearly all of what I held dear in order to force my focus to be on Him. And then once I got my focus back, He has restored my life and my joy. There is such a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness and contentment. <3

  • Sarah Stumbo

    There is so much freedom in joy from surrender but getting there is the hard part- humbling myself doesn’t come naturally.

  • Lisa Shelton

    Jesus is my joy!! Thank you for the reminder, sometimes life gets crazy bout I can always find joy in Him!

  • Grateful for this word that is so relevant to me today! I will rest in His promises.

  • This really hit hard for me today…. I am struggling though some marriage trials and in the the tough season of raising young children. I often am so exhausted and overwhelmed that I forget to see the joy. I too am looking in the wrong places, but what faith it is to give up control and put it in Gods hands. Definitely something I am struggling with but this post motivated me to try a different way.

    • Whitney Moore

      I don’t have kids, but also struggling through some marriage trials (I’m recently married, so this is all new to me) and have been overwhelmed when I think I’ve found joy and then it slips away bc it’s not the joy from Christ, its joy from the ease of comfort… man its been a tough season of learning. I’ll pray for you today- hope you’re doing better.

  • Kaitlyn Reed

    This was my favorite so far. How perfect!

  • Sarah! This was phenomenal. Exactly what I needed to hear right now, and it means even more coming from someone who was in a period of her life that should’ve been totally joyless. “If we label our lives as joyless, it is due to our misplaced hope and pleasure in things of the world rather than the joy of our salvation.” WOW. This is something that so many people need to hear.

  • I have been using the word joy all wrong! Joy isn’t something from this earth- it is a fruit of the spirit- it cannot describe earthly things. This paragraph below really stood out and is helping me transform my thinking today!

    Joy is not momentary pleasure—it is the deep and lasting condition of our relationship with God this world cannot steal away. Christ tells us, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22, NIV).

  • Laura Morcus

    God bless you. This is EXACTLY what I needed. God ALWAYS provides.

  • Sharon Russell

    Thank you for this post today. I found so much truth in almost every word, that I wrote down a lot of what you said to help me remember it. Joy is not a fruit of our work, I cannot produce it because “Joy is a Fruit of God’s Spirit.” So many times I think I have to do, or think a certain way, but truly Joy comes when I spend time in the presence of the Lord. Ps 16:8 says, “I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken” Today I’m going to continue the practice of living in God’s presence, no matter where I am, or what I’m doing. Blessings to you

  • Isabella

    Joy is not found in worldly things but in our all powerful father. Everlasting love joy and peace are given to us through him. This fruit we bear because he gives it to us-not because we produce it ourselves. I needed this today. Thank you for allowing me to see the truth about the joy in my life.


    Joy is a fruit of God’s Spirit, comes from being in His presence. A fresh look at the Fruit of the Spirit for me. Not the fruit I produce but the fruit He produces in me. Now to go back and read those joy Scriptures again.

  • I needed this today. I struggle with depression and anxiety and last night was a particularly bad night. Humbly asking God for forgiveness this morning for looking for joy in the world rather than in Jesus and the salvation he offers. I love how you used the term “misplaced hope”.

    • Lacey White

      I am so guilty of looking for joy in things and places as well. I also can relate to having anxiety. Cast your burdens onto Jesus. They them down at his feet and keep them there. I will be praying for Jesus to wrap you up in his arms and give you peace. Peace knowing that you are not alone , peace knowing that you are Loved, that you are important and worthy!!

  • Samantha

    I am so guilty of searching for joy in the wrong places: my friends, my community, my school, my boyfriend. and I am also guilty of constantly trying to create my own joy, trying to conjure it from nowhere, or just think if only I tried harder, maybe then I would be joyful and experience more joy. But oh my, how that is not the case. It almost seems the harder I try to create my own joy, the more discouraged I become and the less joy I have. My prayer today is that I would seek and expect joy from the Lord alone. May my hands be open to the joy He gives through other people as His vessels, and remain confident that it is from Him alone.

  • Elizabeth

    True joy is not something that can be conjured up or willed. Joy exists apart from our control—we simply choose whether or not to enter in. Joy, the Psalmist tells us, is given in God’s presence. It will never end, never fall short, never disappoint (Psalm 16:11).

    Wow! This is so simple yet profound!! We CHOOSE to enter into joy! It exists outside of our circumstances and what we can control. It abides in the presence of God! So when we enter into his presence, then we will be IN joy!

    This is why I haven’t been joyful lately. I sadly admit that I have neglected my time on God’s presence. I had a friend help me get back into his presence yesterday in prayer and it was like a heavy weight was lifted. I felt that joy again! But it is something I have have to do daily… entering into God’s presence and letting him fill me with his Joy.

  • This was the perfect message for me today as I am sucked isn’t my negative thinking and anxiety over illness. I can’t manufacture joy, I need the Holy Spirit to fill me with supernatural joy. I’m thankful God is with us everyday!

  • I need to be praying for joy!!! I get so frustrated about the most unimportant things. I need to ask God to fill me with his joy.

  • The joy of the Lord is our strength!

  • Lord, remind me that YOU are my joy…remind me of the joy you have given me to walk in daily because of what you’ve done for me!

  • Abundant joy in Christ, and not of this earth. What an incredible promise and gift. I need to be more prayerful about accepting this gift! Excellent reminders on this Friday!

  • I too have had a very hard 5 months . I’m still grieving the sudden and unexpected loss of my mother from a rare lymphoma, even though I know she is rejoicing in heaven! I wonder if I Will ever have Joy again. Thank you for all of the encouraging comments!

  • Today at 29 I have been enlightened. I never knew that I was robbing myself of joy that was already within me. I thought true joy was based on the happy meter. Which for the most part is empty by the end of the day. Our TRUE joy comes from our salvation and resting in the fact that we are crowned daughters of the most high King! That we can still be joyful regardless of the trials and storms that roll through! That Jesus is our daily joy. Wow! If only I had opened my eyes sooner and understood the scripture. Jesus, thank you for the everlasting joy placed on us on the day we mouthed you are our Lord and Savior! May we never look to earthly things to bring us joy because they will fail us but may we fix our eyes on you our endless joy! Thank you SRT for this eye opener. God is so good.

  • God, why am I so blind?
    I always thought joy was the feeling you get when you hear your best friends voice in a crowd. Or when you see one of your closest siblings look to you in mid laugh. Or even when the smell of earthy freshness is born after the sweet drizzle of rain. But no, joy is when I finally realize, that the only place I can be truly joyful, is in your binding word.

  • Crystal Rogers

    I really enjoyed this one!! Praise be to God!

  • This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad.
    There is a season for everything under heaven, including a time to mourn.
    He will take away every tear from every eye and there will be no more sorrow, pain, or death.
    So while we are to find joy in Him as a fruit of the spirit, we are still human and until He comes again, then there will be everlasting joy.

  • s_shannon

    I don’t agree


  • Kristen Bowden

    I will read this one many times. Thankful!

  • This is so perfect for what I needed today!

  • We had a pipe burst last night and the water had to be turned off for the weekend until they can fix it Monday morning. Having to use gallons of water to bathe, wash dishes, drink, brush teeth, etc. is a pain and inside I was grumbling! I woke up to reading this and remembering God’s scripture of Joy and it made me think that this little water situation is nothing compared to Jesus dying on the cross for us and our salvation. What joy that is and will stay in my heart forever! I will be rejoicing during this weekend of no water instead of grumbling because Jesus is worthy of rejoicing!

  • This was exactly what I needed today.

  • Joy! This post sparked Joy for me

  • Joy from this earth comes in and out of our lives, but the lord will always be within us!

  • Lashon Blackwell

    This really did help me today :-)

  • What a great way to start a day that could easily hide my joy. Real joy can’t be hidden because it belongs to Christ. My relationship with him is true joy!

  • Such a good reminder that His presence is all that is needed to have joy in every situation.

  • Ashley (WriteLaughDream)

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. My lord. I was just grappling over everything I don’t have and this was the perfect reminder. Let patience have her perfect work. Our joy is in him. Have to remind ourselves daily. Gr

  • Betty Gordy

    Joy in the Lord❣❣❣don’t know what I would do without Him❤️❤️❤️

  • Shanyl G.

    What an awesome encouragement. Our JOY is found in what the Lord has done for me!!

  • This was a great reminder of what’s true. It’s so easy to forget with all that happens each day (good and bad) in our lives an.

  • Stacey Brothers

    Well just hit me so hard that these are works that the Spirit gives us in prayer and not works of my own trying to make them happen

  • Molly Cross

    A much needed message. I was in my heart about this just yesterday and God was , as always, right on time.

  • Wow can’t believe after all this years I’m just not catching that they are fruits of the spirit and not of us. Even though that’s literally what they are called. So good.

    • Bethany

      I second you! We forget that everything good is from and is God, not by our own works!

    • Lisa

      Agreed! That’s one thing that hit me here, too. The fruit is literally of the Spirit!

  • I am thankful for the message of Joy today. I’ve learned that JOY, much like our salvation, is not the result of anything we do or have done; it’s already been done by the finish work at the cross. Thank you, Jesus for abiding in us through your Spirit. Through your Spirit we can understand what our carnal mind cannot.

  • It is no accident that the fruit of God’s Spirit is in a specific order! Yesterday I wrestled with loving my neighbor, and although I felt convicted to “do better” at loving those who don’t love me, God showed me situations where we don’t all play by the same rules. And after being brought low by my inability to effectively communicate love in difficult circumstances, God reminds me today that Joy lies in a relationship with Him, not in the reactions of those I try to love.

  • Monique Benoit

    This hit me where it hurts! I’ve been looking for joy in all the wrong places. What a great reminder of how sin makes us think we can do things on our own, but in reality we need Jesus for true fulfillment- it always comes from God.

  • I needed this tonight. I’ve been seeking to find joy from things of this world and have forgotten that true joy comes from God and what He has done for us.

  • keishialauren

    I would like to request prayer for anxiety and stress I need this app more than I ever have! As a new mother I thought I would automatically have joy in my life and as deeply as I love my daughter I realize that God is my peace and my joy. I’m learning to run to him and only him because he is my only true peace.

    • Tish

      Praying for you keishialauren!

    • Kavicky

      I don’t know if you will see this reply to your post. But you need to find a local mops (mother of preschoolers) group. It’s like a support group for moms. It helped me SO very much! Look for a local group on They are a Christian organization that believe that “better moms make a better world”. Seriously, it changed my life!

  • Thank you Jesus for giving my optimism and joy! Amen!!

  • Nikki Falvey

    Thank you for this study today! I totally needed this after a stressful few weeks. It reminds me of C. S. Lewis’s book “Surprised by Joy,” where he describes Joy as an inspiring and thrilling yearning for our heavenly home–to be in the presence of God. Praise Your Name, Lord, that we are in your presence with the in dwelling of your Spirit and will one day be physically in your presence in heaven!

  • Lauren Snedden

    What a wonderful reminder that joy isn’t that ‘happy feeling’ but instead, it’s that deeper peace we have when we realize all Christ has done for us, and that because of Him, we can know the Father and be saved from our sins.

  • TSchrader725

    This day has rang a large bell in my head, I couldn’t stop smiling. The night prior I had a large argument with my husband, over a dog, financial, and preparing for our new baby. I cried in the shower, telling myself how if only we had this, or that, maybe this too, we wouldn’t be so unhappy. Lord, you have answered my prayers and opened my eyes to You through scripture, yet again. You are the only joy I need, and I pray to you to help me bring that joy, the purest most honest joy to my family, every day.

  • Such a great reminder that our Joy needs to come from the right place..from God himself! We can be happy and have good things happen to us but if our Joy is not authentic then we have to fix our posture and our attitude..I know I’m personally guilty of throwing myself multiple pity parties throwing internal tantrums and saying no God! I will not be joyful!! And he just gently takes me and holds me and reminds me that my Joy comes from him and he is able to give us the strength to rejoice and praise him and find blessings even in the darkest places or the hardest seasons of life.

    • Vicki

      Loved your comment, I have a stubborn side too but God just keeps smiling at me and Spurs my heart to give in to Him. Happy Day!

  • This just hit me right. I haven’t been joyless but I have forgotten that true joy is only His! Let’s be joyful ladies!

  • Michelle

    This is awesome. Really needed this today.

  • Thank you so much! I love your stories they bring a smile !

  • This is truly what I needed to read as I just experienced a miscarriage last Friday. While my husband and I are deeply saddened and devastated, we know that the choice is ours to choose joy over fear. Joy over anger. Joy over the unknown. An everlasting joy that’s rich in hope and steadfastness.

    “We have this hope as anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19

  • Thank you! This really hit home this morning. Although surrounding circumstances may try and steal our joy, it truly lies within. Only through Christ can true joy be found.

  • needed this reminder today! Thank you!

  • A great reminder that joy is not of this world, but of the Spirit! I so often look for joy in the events of my day instead of looking to Jesus. Thankful for this message and a repentant heart this morning.

  • Heather Stemler

    I so needed to read this- it has been a hard 6 months for my family and I- I broke my arm at the end of December, my husband ruptured his patellar tendon at the beginning of March, my father-in-law passed away at the end of April, my grandmother passed away at the beginning of June, and I just was let go at my job! I am choosing JOY in all my circumstances. I know that the Lord is preparing us for something BIG! I have been blessed with an amazing husband, just received a job offer to do children’s ministry at a church, and I have wonderful family and friends – but above all else I have a Heavenly Father that loves me despite all my stupid mistakes and pride! Praise the Lord!!

  • It has been a long few months. Nothing of great sorrow, but a constant nagging of the enemy to steal my joy. I too try to look at the things that I have been blessed by to show my joy and gratitude. I have often wondered why I can’t just be “joyful” all the time. It’s because I have been looking in the wrong place. Time to shift my eyes and my heart to the One who provides all my joy.

  • This is such a great reminder for me to put my heart in HIS hands! I let the highs get to high and the lows get to low and that is because at times I allow the world to determine my joys. I’m reminded today that true joy comes only from Jesus! And not to feel alone or sad because His death was for my joy!

  • I love Jesus. He is who I live for. We are in full-time ministry, for crying out loud! BUT, I really needed this today. I am broken, lonely, sad, empty, and just plain burnt out. We are coming off a season that has been exhausting to say the least. I needed the reminder of where I need to find joy! Like the author, I have been looking in all the wrong places. I feel a little lighter and a little silly for being so downcast. “Why do downcast, oh my soul? Put your hope in God!” — It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who forgets to look in the right places for God’s help.

  • Wow. I consider myself to be a joyful person, but today’s reading out me in check. Thanks for keeping me accountable. I now know where I should seek true joy and where I will always find it

  • Kasey Summers

    Love how psalm 16 says in the presence of God is where we have abundant joy!! Our joy is not determined by our circumstances, but by Jesus. He remains constant; therefore, our JESUS JOY remains constant!!

  • Although today I feel joyful and happy, I know I needed this reminder for when my semester starts. This past spring I cry more days than not and I wasn’t joyful I was almost a zombie but that was because I wasn’t diving into your word everyday Lord. Please lord hold on to me, help me keep my heart open to you. So when times get difficult I remain joyful because my joy is in you.

    Thank you for this SRT

  • Joy hasn’t always been easy for me. I struggled with anxiety and depression in undergrad, and then was diagnosed with leukemia at 23. I was very sick and had intensive treatment that included a bone marrow transplant. I now find happiness in life’s simpler moments. I know that my joy is in the promise of heaven despite the trials that happen in this world. This is a good reminder to seek joy through the presence of the Lord.

    • Jaydin Lopéz

      Leanne to have heard your story gives me Joy, tho you have endured so much you are here to encourage the rest of us. You are truly a blessing. May he continue to strengthen and Bless you.

  • Savannah Talley

    This message is addressing exactly what I have been struggling with. It is SO hard to be joyful during times of trial for me. What happens is, once I am in a relationship with someone, I unknowingly put them in the place of God as a false idol. My thoughts are always on them, they are my joy, they are my reason for living. And when they disappoint or leave, I have this huge gaping hole in my life. I feel like my life is pointless, and all my dreams have been thrown away. I am really striving to be in fellowship with God and read His word so I can have joy through these worldly trials. My human nature is so natural to me, that it is really difficult to have that kind of joy. Please pray that I will not just “get through” this hard time in my life; but joyfully praise God throughout it.

    • Sarah

      Lord, please direct Savannah and pour incredible amount of joy In her heart. Please help her to see You and feel You in this difficult time and forevermore. To place her worth and desire on You and help her to trust and turn to You each day.

    • Jackie

      I’m right there with you. Thank you for your honesty! I have been experiencing the same pattern (in my own way) and it is so encouraging to know that we are not alone in our struggles!

    • Lauren

      Savannah, you are not alone. I have been there! But I’m glad to say that I’m not there anymore. Being free from that feeling was the BEST feeling in the whole world, and it can happen for you too. I know God brought me that freedom, and I will never forget how he loosed my chains. Whenever my faith is shaken, He reminds me of this moment. Victory is on the horizon. Don’t give up!

    • Sienna

      Thank you for sharing, sister! A book that really helped me with that pattern was “Get Lost” by Dannah Gresh. I hope that The Lord meets you in amazing ways today

  • Mrs.Walton

    Awesome! Today I choose joy. I really connected with the part of if we cannot find joy it is because we put our hope in Worldly goods.

  • So blessed, thank you!

  • This is beautiful, and really connected with my life today. I'm making your website my homepage and look forward to following your studies. I've only read the current plan so far, but I've never had devos connect to my heart this well before. My favorite lines from this passage are "Jesus is always, always worthy of our rejoicing. If we label our lives as joyless, it is due to our misplaced hope and pleasure in things of the world rather than the joy of our salvation." This is so so so true. Thank you for this.

  • I think Godly joy is the hardest attribute to understand because it is different from the worldly view of joy. Thank you for these wise words-your rough three months put you in the perfect place to see the beauty of joy as God defines it!

  • On my own, I'm sure that I'm not capable of living in joy. But God has given us his Spirit to produce the fruit of joy in our hearts! I want a joyful spirit and will continue to pray for that!

  • Thank you for this! It really spoke to my heart yesterday. I have been trying to manifest the fruit of the spirit in my life and this helped to show me that that’s not my job — it’s God’s job to make the fruit. My job is to abide in him!

  • Brittney Fletcher

    I needed this so much!

  • MacKenzie Monroe

    Ok, who wants to break it to her that 3 is much worse than 2? The person who coined the term “terrible twos” only did so because they hadn’t made it to the threes yet! Sorry!!

  • Brooke McGlothlin

    This is so good. Yes, yes, yes! It IS possible to live in a state of joy, even if we're not happy. This might just be the prevailing problem with our Christian culture today. We equate joy with happiness…and it's not at all the same thing. Joy is so much better!

  • This is the word God gave me to focus on. I am working through his kingdom come site’s class Logos365, where they have prompts each month to help you learn more and more about God’s word. I’ll definitely be printing this out and adding it to my Joy Binder.

  • Victoria Kay

    Many may wonder why we should consider it great joy when we go through a trial or a difficult season in our lives. I have always felt that it is within those times in our lives that our worldly selves deem as "difficult" or "trying" that spiritual growth occurs the most, and that we realized how much we are truly blessed by his LOVE!

  • Meg Gorman

    Perfect reminder that in Him we find joy and not from material things. Father, help me to ALWAYS remember that you are my joy!

  • Holly Duncan

    Loved this today! It’s so hard I find joy in the hard times. I just found out today that one of my girls in a hockey team I bunk house lead in the summer is super sick! In the past few weeks she has lost a lot of weight, has been blacking out and loosing feeling in her hands! She has been at SickKids hospital for testing. Through it all she seems to still have a smile on her face and I know that this joy could only come through Jesus! Please pray for Faith, that there will be healing and that this joy will continue! :)

  • Kenzie Faris

    Today was a rough day– discouraging day at work, not being in our home, sick animals, and to top it all off, my husbands every action is rubbing me the wrong– I could feel my heart close up as I read this, motivated to stay joyless and unwilling to acknowledge that my earthly roles have stolen my happiness from me.

  • Antimony

    Joy vs happiness. Not a giddy emotion. But a settled contentment I guess. Not related to things/experiences. But centered in a relationship.

  • Great reminder to look to Him and have joy and not the wrong places like material items, work, hobbies, etc. I have ever lasting JOY because of His promises!!

  • The day my father passed he sent us some deer, see when he was here on earth he loved sitting here and watching the deer and the birds out in the backyard. So that day when we were all on the porch eight deer came up to our fence. (There are 8 people in my family) The buck ran along the fence trying to get our attention. When we looked out all the doe’s we’re jumping and leaping over each other. Something I’ve never seen . They were Dancing in pure joy! My father was not afraid of death he knew where he was going and he showed us his pure joy through those deer! He wanted to show us how happy and joyful he was now that his suffering here on earth ended. That was the first time in my life I actually saw “Joy”… And I feel very blessed for that gift my father sent to us!

  • Anna Kiekover

    This is just what I needed to hear today I have been struggling with a break up for the past 6 months of a relationship of 3 1/2 years and am having a hard time finding my joy and strength to keep moving and this just reaffirmed the importance of placing my trust in GOD and all things will fall in to his plan

    • churchmouse

      Praying for you Anna! Trusting that God is holding your heart close to His own and that you feel His love for you as you follow His will for your life. Blessings to you

    • Jayme Place

      Anna–praying for you this evening as well! I went through a breakup after dating someone for 5 years. At the time, I didn’t even know how I’d get out of bed in the morning. It was the most painful experience of my life. Now, I thank the Lord he closed that door for me. God knows what he is doing and he is working things out for your good. I say that from experience! You can rejoice in Him.

  • Sarah,
    Your honesty in your writing fills my heart! I too am guilty of trying to find joy in all the wrong places (a country song in the making right?!) often disappointed because true joy isn’t found in online shopping, my husband, my work or my kids. I keep looking and they make me smile but that isn’t where my true joy is found. Thank you for this beautiful reminder!!!

  • Alyssa Yoder

    as i am experiencing my 2nd miscarriage today these words fill my heart, mind and soul with joy and strength to bare this trial. my will must be to experience this tragedy through Him and gain out of it the character He desires for myself. last time i bathed in self-pity and rebellion…i will not allow the enemy to steal this trial from me.

  • This is exactly what has been on my heart lately. We are on week 3 of various sicknesses, and I have been trying to figure out how to maintain joy when I feel rotten. And these are only temporary illnesses…I have literally had the thought, “I’ll get right back to being joyful just as soon as I feel better.” What will I be like if ever I have a serious, chronic illness? I don’t want to be joyless, in sickness or in health. Excellent points to consider today.

  • This is a hard one for me. It is a bit like trying to catch a butterfly~ when I try too hard, joy and the understanding of joy are illusive. Can anyone relate? Is joy like a calm confidence that THIS life is not all there is? What does joy look like in the midst of pain? Does joy look/feel different on a “good” day than on a difficult day? How do we reflect joy in our moods/attitudes to others?

    • Nancy Grant

      Can I relate? Yes. I, too, have looked for joy in places it didn’t exist. Is joy like a calm confidence… Yes. It is knowing that God has always known us… always known the choices we would make, and always known the battles we would face on this earth… and that He is with us down every road we walk, every path we choose… not just the “right” ones either. He is always working things together for our good because we love Him and He has called us to His purpose. In the midst of pain, joy looks like a person who knows this pain will pass, who knows there is a God who loves her and cares for her and is, indeed, working all things for our good and His glory. On “good” days, joy may just seem to bubble up and out of you; on difficult days, you might need to look into the mirror and see Jesus looking back at you. He’s in you, always. How do we reflect joy to others? I think we do this with a quiet confidence that only He can give… knowing that in this world we will have troubles, but we can rejoice because we know that He has overcome this world! As Christians, we really have only two choices: God’s way or God’s way. His way will produce joy and peace. I pray that you know His joy every day.

  • My “word of the year” for 2014 was joy, and my 2015 word has been intentional. The past year has been one of the hardest years of my life. My husband had 2 emotional affairs with 2 different women, and our marriage almost crumbled. But in the midst of it, God gave me the strength to love him, intentionally, and to find joy in Him and Him alone. All too often we search for these things in the wrong places. I’m so thankful to Him, who will always provide love and joy even in the darkest of circumstances.

  • sarahphillipsmatheny

    Thank you so much for all the encouraging, wise and JOYFUL comments today, friends. I am grateful that God's very personal lesson for me is providing fruit for many of you. But then He wisely knew it would, didn't He? I pray all of your day's are full of His presence (aka JOY!).

  • ” Joy exists apart from our control—we simply choose whether or not to enter in.”

    I so love this! I too am guilty of looking for joy in all the wrong places – good places – but wrong places just the same.

    Thank you for speaking truth! Christ is my unfailing and everlasting joy and to search elsewhere will only disappoint.

  • Courney Anne

    “Joy is not a fruit of our work…”
    How true this is! And a great reminder for us all as we constantly run this rat race everyday for the “best” of everything. Our goals aren’t even selfish all the time; we think of how it will help our friends, family, and even our ministries. However, we must all remember that the Lord is our portion and cup of blessing. Joy comes from Him to glorify Him, and we are so truly lucky to experience His awesome grace and mercy. How could we not rejoice in that?

  • I read these everyday and sometimes it means skimming through because I'm rushing to get to work. I've been bitter and angry with God (as much as I dont like to admit that) I have. But reading this fully, reading it with an open heart today, this was exactly what I needed to hear. What a great reminder in my crazy, hectic life that God is worth rejoicing. That in him we have joy. This lifted my spirit, so thank you!

  • Just took a moment to pray for those in Nepal today who are experiencing so much turmoil… Will you help me in asking the Lord to turn their sorrow into joy? The joy that is found in Him and Him alone! Thank you.

    • churchmouse

      Yes I will pray with you. And please pray for those involved in the Amtrak derailment. Thank you

  • Joy is my word of the year. Though over these past few months I have felt pretty joyless. But reading today about joy reminds me that in my joyless moments, I’m in most need of a perspective check. I tend to act as if my circumstances, my self-imposed expectations and perfectionisms, comparisons are bigger, more important (…I’m struggling to type this…) than my great, faithful, loving God. And my heart needs to repent. Deep, soul moving repentance. Because putting anything above Him will leave me miserable and joyless – always.
    But oh the joy in the return! The choice to return and enter into His joy is beautiful. May I not forget again who He is, all that He gives, and the sweetness of His abundant joy.

    • Kyleiann

      Thank you Beverly. Perfectionism and our own expectations set us up for failure. Every. Single. Time. I know because I live it. I have been pretty joyless myself making it difficult for me to be me and others to be around me. We have had a series of tough events from issues in parenting to a huge medical scare with my dad I have looked at my circumstances and compared them to what I think they “should” look like. And I’m discouraged and disappointed. I need to surrender but I’m really struggling with that. I pray Beverly we can feel the freedom from the chains we allow to bind us that in Jesus we can experience joy.

      • Beverly

        Praying for your now, Kyleiann. That God would wrap you, your dad, and your family up in his love and peace.
        Ah, the "shoulds" – they always lead me to discouragement and disappointment too. Comparison truly is the thief of joy. May you and I both be grateful (today and always) for all the blessings and good things that God has lavished on us in His great love. And all that He protects us from. He is great and He is gracious. This makes me grateful. Hugs to you through your challenging circumstances.

    • Angela

      Joy and Trust are my two words of the year. When I chose them, it was because 1. I wanted to work on trusting God more in all my circumstances, and 2. I wanted to find more pleasure and happiness in my day to day. How misguided! True joy is in trusting Him. Resting at peace, knowing all things will be worked for good, because He controls all things.
      I have been struggling with anxiety and panic of late, a dragon I thought was slayed years ago. But here it is again. I'm praying deeply today that I can trust God more fully, and therefore partake of the fruit of joy he has offered me. Such a big lesson to learn.

      • Beverly

        Saying a prayer for you, sweet Angela. I understand anxiety and panic all too well. Praying you hold tight to Him remembering that He is mightier than your worries and fears. Trust and Joy are such a perfect pairing. I love how you shared the ways He is shifting your perspective on your words. He is so good.

    • Susan

      I'm late to the party, but I just have to chime in to tell you, Beverly, that JOY is my word of the year, too. It has been so affirming how God has brought it to me!

  • Loved this point:
    Joy is not momentary pleasure—it is the deep and lasting condition of our relationship with God this world cannot steal away.
    Thank you!

  • So true! I really, REALLY needed this today! Thank you!

  • Wow, your devotion today is exactly where I am! I was active, tutoring, being a wife and grandmother a month ago, and I got cellulitis in my leg. I have been down for a month. I read the devotion today and could not stop the tears! It is not where I want to be, but I get the James passage about God working maturity in my life. I will concentrate on what Christ has done and wait for his timing. We do have the greatest gift! Thanks so much for this encouragement! It was right on!

  • Sarah thank you for sharing your story. I feel that you wrote this directly to me. Thank you.

    Joy is not momentary pleasure—it is the deep and lasting condition of our relationship with God this world cannot steal away. Christ tells us, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." John 16-22

  • lauraloewen1221

    Love how Sarah says "my exercises of gratitude for things of this world cannot produce because joy is not a fruit of our work, our circumstances or ourselves. Joy is a fruit of God's Spirit."

    I find myself confusing happiness and joy often. deep down knowing it's a fruit of the Spirit, yet silently complaining to God when my kids get whiny and I just want out of the car or minimally, to put headphones on. I find myself grunting and groaning to God "Really, Lord? I don't exactly have joy right NOW." Like it's His fault. {sigh.} Oh, Lord, forgive me.

    I can pass the blame as easily as the butter for the rolls, but joy is my choice, because Christ has given me full access to it through His Spirit the day I said "Yes" to Him.

    Happiness is so fleeting, and not something God even ordains for us, although I know He delights in us more fully than anyone. But that joy? I think He's just longing for us to soak it up for all it's worth. Have a blessed day, ladies, grounded in the One who formed you and calls you by name.

  • My pastor frequently talks about joy in suffering, which I have had many opportunities to experience. I just lost my job after working for a nonprofit organization for 8 years, because the new director decided she wanted to bring in her own people. I frequently felt belittled and unsupported by her, so it actually feels good this week not having to go into that toxic environment. I have been wanting to go back to teaching and now have the opportunity to pursue that, and I have more time to focus on planning my upcoming wedding, and be intentional about relationships and time with friends. But then that little voice creeps in to tell me I’m a failure and I’m not good enough and tries to steal my joy. I’m really trying to focus on resting in the Lord and finding my joy and identity in Him alone, so this passage really hit home today. Thank you.

  • God will never stop bringing us joy. He is always working on our behalf but it’s our job to stop and notice it. Thanks be to God!

  • I pray to trust in this truth. I pray to believe in this word, and I pray that the Lord help my unbelief. Thankful for this honesty. I pray to soak in the joy that joy exists because of the love of Christ.

  • stephanie

    oh how i needed this today! sarah thank you for your honesty and openness. we are at the beginning of a 3-month long sickness process and the outlook is bleak at times (most of the time). I have been fumbling through each day trying to release my worries and forgetting to rest in the joy of who i am in Christ. "Joy exists apart from our control—we simply choose whether or not to enter in." – so today I am choosing to enter in.
    "Really, God. YOU are my joy."

  • Shannon H

    My reflections on this study reminded me that there is no joy apart from God. Like so many of you ladies mentioned, we cannot manufacture our own joy! Joy is being sure of what I hope for, it is being secure in my salvation through Jesus Christ, it is anticipation of heaven and the inheritance that awaits, it is know the character of God, my exceeding joy! Praying for all of us this morning, that we will abide in Gid, our exceeding joy!

  • Well done, Sarah! With joy before, behind and around me available as He lives within (WOW)! I look forward to today, for us all, before tomorrow, gently surprised with the joy to be revealed.

  • Stephenie

    These words from a Caedmon's Call song keep playing in my head…"There is joy within Your presence here and now, but better still…is the day that is to come when Your full glory is revealed." I love these words! The thought of the overwhelming joy that we will have in His presence….wow!

    Such great thoughts today. When I am joyless, I am looking for joy in the wrong places. He alone is my Joy!

  • Amber_Ps139

    YES! Exactly what the Holy Spirit has been teaching me over the past year, that there is “fullness of joy in His presence” that is found nowhere else. Joy can be exhausting trying to find. We need only enter in. Thank you

  • Great reminder on where joy is found…in His presence. Thank you!

  • God's timing is absolutely impeccable. The past few days I've been feeling a little off in regards to my health. I'm not sure what it is as I don't remember ever feeling this general malaise and feeling literally "sick to my stomach." Last night was the worst of it with my stomach all wonky, aches and pains all over and chills and sweats through the night. I admit I was quite far from entering God's joy when I woke up this morning. But our faithful and ever-present Father has reminded me of the fullness of joy which He has called me to as I read through the Scriptures and then through everyone's reflections here. Oh how sweet it is to know that joy is abundant in God's presence!
    I covet your prayers this morning ladies! Please pray that even in whatever condition my physical body is in, God's joy will course through me, through my spirit, and bring God glory. Much appreciated!

  • In Christ I'm Found

    Thank you for opening my eyes once again to what biblical joy is. No one can take out joy away because it rests in God and is always found there, in His presence. I feel Him saying- that is how much I love you, you can always find joy when you are with me.

  • Megan Gilley

    Girl, amen. I’ve been so fixated recently on how to gain joy again. I’m aware when I start to lack it. Happy, just not over the moon for God. And when the tiny tasks of my day become mundane, I know something is off. I end up praying for God to inspire me. After reading your post though I hear him saying, girl what you need is to sit down and be still!Yup. Busybody over here needs to chill.

    Thank you for helping me back on track. Every last word of yours was a blessing to me today!

  • sweetdes2014

    I must admit that there are times when I think joy is that emotional "happy." But it isn't . Joy is believing God's got you even when it looks like you are losing the battle. I have to continually remind myself that this joy I have the world didn't give me and the world can't take it away. So even though my husband is having surgery today (need your prayers sisters) and the doctors have given a grim view…I have joy. Not that happy, smiling joy,but the tear stained face joy knowing that God is in control and he reigns in this situation. My joy rests on the fact that this here….., my hurt, my frustration, ….is for His glory. I want Him to be glorified, whatever the outcome. God be glorified ….that's joy!

  • In my experience, the terrible twos lasted from 18 months to 2.5 years.
    Also, I once suggested to my pediatrician that we just make a standing appointment for every three weeks.
    My baby (of five kids) is now 18.
    Seasons change and you will find joy in each one.
    But the twos are definitely, legitamately hard.

  • This was really good, on the fruit of joy. A good reminder to stop looking at our circumstances or what we can do for ourselves to bring it. It’s always a life given over completely to Him in all ways. Fruit comes without striving but simply staying connected to the VINE. THANKS FOR SHARING.

  • Heather Sandifer

    Create in me a clean heart, O God….restore to me the JOY of your salvation! – Psalm 51:10-12

  • Kelly_Smith

    Sarah, thank you for pointing out the difference between gratitude and joy. The selection of scriptures today didn't mention being thankful, only joyful. I don't often separate the two, but to know true joy in any circumstance I must untangle them. I try to conjure up joy, like stirring in the right ingredients to make a tasty dish. Joy isn't a recipe to be followed; the delicious fruit grows naturally on the vine. It is found not in striving but in abiding (there is that word again!). I love Ps 16:11, "In Your presence is fullness of joy." I imagine reclining at the table with my Lord, feeling the joy of just being with Him. I am not performing or trying to impress with my words. He is not telling jokes or showering me with gifts. Just the security of His presence, aware that He knows me completely and loves me anyway, is enough to fill my soul with joy.

  • Hello, sisters! Could you please say a prayer for me today? I applied for a job that I would really love to have. They want to hire me, but don't think they can give me a salary that matches what I have now. I'm supposed to hear back today. My husband is job hunting, and I am currently the only income. I'm very prayerful about this. Is it God shutting a door, or Him telling me to trust Him? Thank you for interceding for me! Love you all!

    Blessings! -Zuri

    • sweetdes2014


    • gracey520

      Praying for God's best for your family, Zuri. (I love your name!)

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Prayers lifted!!!

    • Maya

      Just prayed for you, Zuriel!

    • Zuriel

      Thanks, all! They called yesterday and officially offered me the job. After much prayer and reflection, I'm going to take the job. It's less money, but I feel like God is really pointing me in that direction. Finances are going to be REALLY tight until the hubby finds employment, but God is good! Amen! :-) Now I just have to break the news to my current employer, so I'm praying for the right words. That's the worst part. :-/
      I'm excited for this next journey in life! Thanks for being a part of it!

  • Christina

    This is perfect! Amen, amen, amen! Thank you, Sarah! Thank you, Lord! “In Christ alone my hope [and thus, my joy] is found!”

  • "Joy is not momentary pleasure—it is the deep and lasting condition of our relationship with God this world cannot steal away." This. I can not tell you how reassuring this is to me, because like you Sarah, there is much to my life and it's just getting compounded, now with health concerns that just have me wanting to cry, as I'm not sure about so many things. I feel like the weight that is there is just heavier and heavier, yet I know that God is with me. I may be worn and concerned for many things, but I have this natural peace over it and I know it comes from the Joy given to me by God. Jesus is my everything and without Him, I've nothing. No matter what this world offers me, what I bring on myself or what looms in the future, Jesus never changes. I will be prayerful today, and the days coming, that I remember no matter what comes God will be my constant, my unchanging, my hope, my absolute, my joy, my peace. ~ B

    • MNmomma (heather)

      B~ You are in my prayers. Those scary, unsure times are the hardest…..the weight and the pressure of it all is crushing. I can soooo relate. It has been a difficult season for our family, and without God as my center, my rock, my foundation, my JOY…..I have no idea where I would be….I have found it is my earthly way to try to hold onto worries, not hand it ALL over to Him. To trust Him with "most"…..that's when I lose it. I become so over burdened. Then I have an "aha" moment and remember that He wants it ALL. Every last thought, worry or concern. It doesn't make it go away, but man the burden becomes light (hmmmmm…..go figure, right?!?!??!!?!) Prayers with you today dear sister……

      • ~ B ~

        Thank you Heather for your prayers today. I am so grateful for this community and you sweet sisters keeping care! ~ B

    • Beverly

      Praying for you, B. That you may hold tight to His presence and His relentless love of you and your family. Hugs!

      • ~ B ~

        Beverly, thank you so much for being prayerful over me. As I said to Heather, I am so very thankful for the women here, you among them! ~ B

    • Laura

      Prayers for you, B! I have similarly been going through a lot of scary health concerns lately, but I have struggled to find peace and joy. As I have fallen into uncertainty, fear, and unhappiness, I have tried things much like Sarah describes, such as making gratitude lists…I think I have been trying to find joy in "things,"and it has only hit me after reading this that joy is already there, because God is joy! I simply have to choose to enter into it. This is SO comforting and reassuring to me. Joy is here – all around me – and I simply have to turn to Jesus. Praying for you and for myself today that we will continue to find joy and strength in our faith.

  • One of the Hebrew words that is translated "joy" means to spin, jump, dance, etc. Learning that has really changed how I think about joy. Sometimes we define it as more steady and even-keeled than happiness, but according to the Bible, it's wild and giddy. What makes you spin with delight? When was the last time you felt that kind of delight? That dizzy delight is joy. My joy isn't dependent on me, it doesn't come from me, but it IS an action I can take. Like Sarah said, I can choose not to enter into it or not. No one can take away our joy, because it isn't something we have, it's something we do.

    • Zuriel

      That explains why it's so hard for me to sit still during praise and worship on Sunday mornings. I am often filled with such joy, I just want to jump up and down… but I restrain myself to bouncing so I don't distract anyone. Maybe I should let the joy run free! ;-)

      • MNmomma (heather)

        I'm a bouncer and a bopper…..can't help myself…..when my heart is open and ready, my body has a mind of its own….. sorry to all those who sit behind me ;)

      • QueenBee

        My joy is an extroverted joy as well… When my heart begins to fuel up with the presence of GOD his love his peace his grace and mercy, I cannot contain myself.. I begin to bounce, clap and bop. I’m no singer but my cords of worship can be heard fearlessly in my act of great fullness to the ONE who loves me first…

    • Laura

      What delightful food for thought! I have also heard it taught as even-keeled, but perhaps this does fit better. Maybe Holy Spirit gives us this fruit when no one would think dancing is appropriate. He turns weeping into dancing, right? Maybe we don’t have to guilt trip ourselves for not having this joy all the time – but we can always know it’s coming. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Blair

      Seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit-JOY is. It's CELEBRATION. Listen to Rend Collective's "Joy". Today, I choose celebration.

  • Yesterday, I mentioned next to LOVE, HOPE is another of my favoritest (I know it's not a word…why not) words….they conjured up feelings that I knew were true inside me,..I believed the feelings, I trusted them…within…

    With my story, or perhaps, I should say my history….I never really thought about JOY, as, I think, thought it another word for happy/ happiness….so for ages, years in fact, I would take my laughter, my smile as happy/ joy….I was okay…especially as Psalm 30 ,which I clung to, says …You have turned my sadness into a joyful dance, you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with JOY,..
    …. SELAH.
    Let me, if you will share this But God moment…that opened my eyes and my heart to the deeper more God – filled JOY that is so different to what we know…
    When God has a plan…He has a plan…..and although a tad slow in seeing what is before my very eyes and heart, Thank you Lord that I get there in the end….

    My love of books took me into a bookstore recently….I love progress…what with on line reading now, and E books…but I still like to hold books, smell them, turn the corners, or put a picture, recent creation by a grand child or card as a marker for the page I am up to….

    Anyway I digress, whilst in this bookstore I noticed they had some good biblical words in silver ….for hanging, or placing around the home….you know words like…peace, hope, love, joy….they also had them in gold, but I wasn’t so keen on them…deciding which one to buy first wasn’t difficult, as hope is my all time favourite word, it was easy to choose that one first….I took hope home…

    The following week I returned to buy the love….. sounds funny…buying the love…whoever said you can’t buy love? I now had hope and love….Wow……A couple of weeks later I popped in to buy peace, but they had no faith and no peace….ha,.isn’t that just like us, no true peace…when we lose Faith and think we can do things in our own strength…especially the big and difficult things….there sure is no peace in thinking we are bigger than we are………they only had joy in gold….what good would that be, I’ve started collecting the silver ones I thought. The assistant assured me there would be more the following week, but when I returned…still nothing only the joy in gold….another week goes by and one last time, I told myself…if they don’t have peace or faith or joy in the silver I’ll cut my losses and settle with the two I had…..nothing…..only the golden joy….only the golden joy….only the golden joy…!…it dawned on me then….I had been going backwards and forwards for weeks wanting peace and faith and God wanted me to have GOLDEN JOY…not just in silver but in gold, a far richer commodity…a far more precious gift…. joy in abundance…..a true gift from the Lord….Thank you Lord…for giving me hope and loving me for me, no questions asked….and Lord for the golden joy that you give me each and every day….if I can just see it….Amen…
    I believed I would never know happy/joy again, since my loss…but here's the thing, JOY is not dependant on anything earthly…it goes beyond what we can see, touch, hear…imagine….JOY is God given, straight into your soul…and I for one, am so glad I know now the difference between everyday happy, which is great, and the fruit of the Spirit JOY, which is not temporal, but for Always…Amen….Thank you Lord God, thank you for your Goodness, Grace and Love…xx

    Sisters, I have taken too much of your time, sorry….praying God's abundant Blessings filled with love and hugs and His JOY…over you all…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Drea

      Amen, Tina! Joy isn’t based on our emotions nor is it happy/happiness…we can be unhappy but never unjoy. :)

    • Kelly_Smith

      What a precious analogy! We get focused on the fruit of the Spirit on our terms when God wants to give us so much more. I can just picture that golden JOY waiting on you, calling out to you each week! I love your story!!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Oh Tina~ Your story was so very perfect! Golden joy! It is the perfect description…….THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you for sharing it with us this morning!

    • Carrie

      I love this story of yours Tina! Thank you. I'm smiling ear-to-ear as I embark on a work-filled day. Blessings to you precious one.

    • Debbie

      Tina I love it! Thank you for sharing your story this morning, it really hit home with me. Blessings to you my friend!

    • Beverly

      Golden Joy! I love this, Tina! Isn’t it wonderful how He shows us He is with us and cares in tangible ways?! He is so good.

    • ~ B ~

      I absolutely love the idea of Golden Joy T! Isn't it funny how it takes a little while for us to connect the dots. I can absolutely relate to that. Love it T! ~ B

    • ~ B ~

      I was just thinking there is a fellow SRTer who left a comment on the love post, yesterday's. Her comment is a few down from yours, her name is sweetdes. You came to mind when I read her comment and thought that, if you've not already, maybe you would have some good words and encouragement for her as she endures all that is on her plate right now. Love you T ! ~ B

      • tina

        Thank you -B~ for leading .me to our sweet sister…I sometimes do not get back from work til late so often catch up a day or two later….I have commented, and will continue to check in with her as the days go on, should she wish me to…Bless you dearest and love to you and yours…xxx

    • Candacejo

      Love, love, love! ♥♥♥

  • melindawatters

    Perfect love, abundant joy! I want to shout this for all to know and have! I am so thankful for these gifts as i walk with my family throuh these crazy days of transition!

  • Candacejo

    Reminds me of an Adventures in Odyssey episode where the little girl walks around repeating, "Count it all joy, count it all joy…" But nothing was joyful because her focus was misdirected. We cannot always be HAPPY but we can be JOYFUL…big difference as Sarah beautifully pointed out!

    We count all things joy because God is working in all situations, even when we think He has forgotten us, they are for a purpose.

    Our instinct is to avoid conflict, turmoil, anxiety and personal pain at any cost. We even spend a good deal of time and money on counseling, exercise, nutrition, anything that will help us to avoid things that will bring us discomfort.

    But according to scripture; trials, heartaches and suffering WILL COME in the life of a Christian.

    “Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.” Hebrews 10:33-34 NLT.

    These things happened all the time for the early Christians; they were daily occurrences. So how did they get through?

    They kept their eyes on the reward!

    “They knew that the persecution, that was only temporary, could not begin to compare to the eternal reward. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18.

    This is what our Lord and Savior did. He was able to endure the cross because of the joy that was set before Him. Hebrews 12:1-2.

    "WE ALSO" do the same if we keep our eyes on the prize. So much power in the Comforter that He has freely made available to us…Christ IN us, every day, bringing JOY in circumstances even when we are not happy with the situation. We are confident HE is in control, working all things for His glory.

    Beautiful lesson of encouragement Sarah. Beautiful day. Be blessed!! ♥

    • Drea

      Candacejo, thank you for allowing Holy Spirit to speak through you, amen!

    • Lindsey

      Thank you for your insights Candacejo. I made note of some of your comment to reflect on.

    • Missy

      Awesome points, Candacejo!

      I just finished reading "The Heavenly Man" (story about Brother Yun, a Christian in China)… the man literally experienced everything in Hebrews 10: 33-34… "Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.”

      However, his practice of memorizing whole passages of scripture (no Bibles allowed!), helped him to meditate on the Lord´s promises, and have these unspeakable moments of joy because he KNEW the Lord hadn´t left him. It´s really a beautiful testimony to the Lord´s work!

      • Shannon H

        Great book, Missy! And yes, what a testimony of holding on to the promises of God and really being able to count it all joy!!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Oh man Candacejo! The Spirit spoke to me this morning thru your words. THANK YOU!!!! You broke things down in a way that just reached out and grabbed me this morning. Blessings to you sister!

    • Beverly

      Oh Candacejo, your words were honey to my soul. Choosing to joyfully believe today that the impossible is possible with Him.

    • Mindy

      Thanks for the extra insight!

    • Maya

      Thank you for writing this, Candacejo. It blessed me!

  • onemindoneheart

    Glory and blessings be to Spirit for allowing my eyes to digest this deliverance. I am new to this site and have immense gratitude to all abiding in Love, for it enables me strength to perservere even as doubt lingers. The fruits of Spirit feed me graciously and I pray to sow and reap in reverence.

    May you be rooted deep.

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