Some joy experienced at Christmas is seasonal. Is our joy only related to Christmas because of all the pleasant things associated with it? Or is it “all-weather” joy like the tires, good to run on all year through all seasons?
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.
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.
Even if you don't frequently see extraordinary miraculous events, God is providentially active in the regular and natural processes you see every day.
For the Southworth's, life is a looking glass. Frown into it and it will frown back at you. Laugh with it and you will find it a kindly companion.
I am convinced that few weapons are more important in fighting discouragement and difficulty these days than a good sense of humour. Laughter, stress, and worry cannot co-exist for long.