Joy prompts healing—both physically and emotionally. In this poignant letter of friendship and faith, the Apostle Paul advocated for a lasting joy to undergird the life of all believers.
Fruit of the Spirit
How can we know if we’re really making progress in our spiritual walk? After all, the Bible offers no prescribed checklist of duties to perform that prove we’ve “arrived” as mature believers. But a list provided by Paul in Galatians 5:22–23 does offer proof both to ourselves and to those around us that the Spirit of God who dwells within us controls our thoughts and actions.
And that’s the catch. We can’t produce such fruit on our own—even with the most sincere effort. We can’t fake this fruit either. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is a supernatural result of yielding to the Holy Spirit. Once we’re exhibiting the pure, holy fruit of the Spirit, the contrast is stark between those who are filled with the Spirit and those who obey the deeds of the flesh, as seen in Paul’s other list in verses 19-21! When we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, all the glory goes to God.
The theme of Philippians is the joy that comes from being confident that Christ is in full control.
Are you a diligent type of person? Diligent people are disciplined, keen, alert, motivated, and have a continued stream of ideas and plans.
God loves variety. That’s why He made all kinds of people with different interests and abilities.
The mind is an amazing thing. In a matter of seconds it can transport you to scenes you thought you had forgotten. Remember when your love for the Lord was in full bloom? Remember the passion you felt? Remember your deep devotion?
You may not be able to change your situation but you can change your response. The choice is yours. You can choose to wallow in self-pity, or you can respond to a disadvantage with courage.
In cultures where Christianity is not threatened or perceived as threatening, the word “encouragement” may even lose a bit of its edge—a pity, when the crux of the word rooted in courage.
Timing and tact are always worthwhile. Insensitivity or rashness are never traits that we want to purposely act on; they are counter to the fruit of the Spirit.
Spiritual gifts tests can help point you to areas you may be gifted in, but another way to discover your gifts is to spend time in prayer and reflect on what you’re already passionate about.