I don’t know about you, but before God called me, I didn’t know what joy is or feels like. I really didn’t have much of a sense of self, and because I had been terribly abused in various ways, I spent most of my time pleasing others and trying to make them happy so that they wouldn’t hurt me.
Our amazing, miracle-working God changed all that and taught me how to love myself just like I love others. He literally transformed me from the inside out, and for the first time I knew what love is, and there were even periods where I experienced that thing called joy, which is not happiness but transcends it somehow. What really puzzled me was that this joy surfaces when life gets hard, too. So, what is this joy?
I know scripture tells me that joy is a fruit of the spirit, so I know joy is not physical but spiritual. Joy for me comes when I think of God and my connection to Him. It arrives when I am able to make a difference in someone’s day or life for the better. It doesn’t feel like peace. Joy soars, and peace calms. When God the Holy Spirit indwelled me after being born again, He brought joy into my life. Now, I can’t imagine life without it. The other day, I was blessed to be a spiritual mid-wife and usher a new believer into the family of God. Did God use my joy to affect this guy? Is that what those that look at me and other believers see and want, this joy?
I pray that all can experience this miracle called joy. How can you receive it? Just ask God the Holy Spirit. He loves to give gifts like that. That’s today’s encouraging word.
copyright 2014, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved