How have you been?
It’s been forever!
Yeah, I know too. Big hugs to everyone who checked up on me one way or the other while I was away. I love you all and I can’t tell you how grateful and thankful I am to have you in my life. God bless you more than you could ever ask or think.
Ah, the year is almost gone. We have roughly 10 more weeks to go. Has God been good or what? I don’t know about you but I’ve got loads of testimonies. God is indeed a good God. He is too faithful to fail!
Let’s get down to this.
Read. Sing. Meditate. Enjoy.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice,
All ye that are upright in heart;
And ye that have made him your choice,
Bid sadness and sorrow depart.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice!…
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice!..
Be joyful, for He is the Lord,
On earth and in heaven supreme;
He fashions and rules by His word;
The “Mighty” and “strong” to redeem.
What though in the conflict for right
Your enemies almost prevail!
God’s armies just hid from your sight,
Are more than the foes which assail.
Though darkness surround you by day,
Your sky by night be o’ercast,
Let nothing your spirit dismay,
But trust till the danger is past.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice,
His praises proclaiming in song;
With harp and with organ and voice,
The loud hallelujahs prolong!
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to His cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Then we won’t need to look for honors and popularity, which lead to jealousy and hard feelings.” – Galatians 5:22-26 (NLT)
Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about the fruit of the Spirit. For this write-up, I’ll dwell on JOY. I’ll define Joy as a source of happiness. Happiness is the emotion experienced when in a state of well being.
‘Joy is that emotion that tickles your tickle box or makes your eyes bright and gleaming. Joy springs assurance in your being when your circumstances look bleak. Joy is the excitement of Jesus swelling up in your heart when there is no earthly reason to be excited. Joy is the confirmation in your soul that, whatever happens in life, Jesus is right beside you-giving you the strength you need for the journey. So when you begin to fret and cry, catch the joy!’ – Thelma Wells
I am dominantly melancholy by temperament. I find it difficult to pick a melancholic trait that i do not or did not exhibit at some point. I think the major weakness of a melancholy is the mood swings. One minute I can be happy and excited and ready to take on the world and the next, I just want to be all by myself. It’s not something melancholies can explain really. It’s just what it is. Sometimes this dark side can lead to depression. I mean this feeling of going down in a ditch and being helpless. When I was younger, I used to lay the blame on whoever was close by. If anyone dared to talk about me negatively, it would become their fault if I chose to be angry and bitter and go without food for days.
Years down the line, I’m a changed person. Christ is the difference between who I am and who I used to be. Do I still have mood swings? Yep. I’ve come a long way from where I was but I still go down to that ugly place. I still slip. I still struggle. You see, one mistake we make as Christians is to assume everything will be fine once we become born again. Knowledge is not power, knowledge utilized is. I can be a fire-spitting, tongue-speaking Christian and the devil will still be able to take me for a ride. The enemy will always use what you don’t know against you.
Now I know having mood swings is as good as saying something along the lines of, ‘Hi Devil, kindly take the wheel, I’ll go wherever you go.’ Of course nobody will say that literally but when you refuse to take a hold of your emotions, you are saying just that. Happiness is a choice. Being joyful is a choice. It is allowing the spring within you to overflow. I may find myself in places I’d rather not be but ultimately, the choice to remain there is all mine. I can choose to remain there and enjoy my pity-party and I can choose to do something about the situation.
‘Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.’ – Matt 12:33
We’ve all been in a place we’d rather not be, done things we’d rather not do. Here are two points that helped me. I know they can help anyone. I label them #HighlyRecommended. These are just mine, feel free to drop yours in the comment box. Let’s see how we can help one anothrr.
1) Dig deep. Search the scriptures. Call it whatever you may. Just get hold of your bible and find out what it has to say about the situation.
* Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. Again, I will say, rejoice!- Philippians 4:4
I’m sure Paul and Timothy knew one or two people who were not always joyful in Philippi before they wrote this letter to the Philippians. Even when all around you seem dark and gloomy, rejoice!
* ‘Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
and the fields yield no food;Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls- Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’- Habakkuk 3:17-18
Did you get that? I will be joyful, regardless of my situation.
* ‘Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart….’-Deuteronomy 28:47
You either serve God or you don’t. If you must serve Him, you must be glad, doing it.
* ‘...Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’- Nehemiah 8:10
One of the downsides of mood swings is instability. One minute I’m full of passion and zeal, the next, I’m almost lifeless without fervor. I just lose interest in everything including things I love to do. The reason is not far-fetched. Our strength comes from the joy of the Lord, in us! When joy leaves, strength flees with it.
*’Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, who though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God…’- Philippians 2:5-6 (NLT)
Attitude they say is everything. Someone talking to you in a manner you detest should not be an excuse to lose your joy. If you have to depend on people to be joyful, you might always be sad. Joy is a fruit of the spirit. It is a fruit you bear as a result of the spirit of God in you. Remember what Jesus said about a tree that does not bear fruits? It shall be cut off! Confess positively. Yes you are not there yet but you will get there.
* ‘And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was on Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.’ – 1Samuel 16:23
Music refreshes the Spirit, Soul and body. When you are down and there are no words left to say, a good song will edify your spirit and help you up. A good christian song will soothe your troubled soul and lift your heart into the heavenlies.aaQAQ
* ‘ Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which God has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage…For you, brethren, have been called to liberty…’-Galatians 5:1,13
Being unstable in thoughts and actions is akin to living in bondage. Here’s why: If the devil can tell you when to be joyful and when not to be, he is in control of your life. Why live in bondage when you have the option of freedom?
2) The company you keep will either help you up or drag you down. Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you.
‘ Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear!”‘ – Isaiah 35:3-4
I’m thankful for friends who are there to put be back on track when I seem to be distracted. I’m grateful for everyone who has helped me up when I was down. Without people like you, point 1 could not have been possible. Those points seem easy but sometimes we need reminders.
In conclusion, it is not enough to be joyful one day and sorrowful the next. We must choose to be happy and let the joy of the Lord become a living spring in us. Only then can we truly be free from the shackles of nature and temperaments.
‘…he that drinks of this water, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water’- John 4:14
‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’-Aristotle
Happy new week people!
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice!!