Last week I shared about my experience with Love and why I find it to be a vital fruit of the spirit. This week up next, is J O Y.
Love for me was easy to ask from God. Joy, not so much.
When I was a child, I mean very small maybe ages from three (yes, I remember being three) to I’d say 12 I was a joyful child. Oh I remember just always being happy and smiling and without a care in life! When I have these memories running through my mind I can’t help but to smile, the thought of my fluffy purple coat with a black bow on the zipper makes me laugh. The thought of long morning walks, runs for me while my poor mother chased me all while being about seven months pregnant make me giggle. As we get older or maybe I should say as I grew older life just wasn’t as happy and joyful as I had remembered it. Life gets harder, we grow older and take on responsibilities and we find out that there’s more to life then always smiling. As I got older I realized something that robbed my Joy and little would I know it would be something that I would drag in to marriage. Little did I know that it would open the doors for me in the future to get closer to God.
From the age of 13 I remember going through this dark stage in my life. I found out what it felt like to be used without permission at the age of five, the last time I remember someone sexually hurting me I was 13. It wasn’t until I was 13 that I understood what had really happened to me all those years. I saw people differently. That thought completely took over my life and I no longer had joy. I started to seek out why it happened and fell a victim to people who had that same experience just to find out they would eventually do the same thing to me again and again. I trusted them. I had no joy.
There are many things in life that rob us of Joy And yet it’s one of The Fruits of the Spirit.
How can I have joy after sexual abuse Ana? How can I have joy after my loved one passed away Ana How can I have joy when I want to end my life Ana ? How can I have joy after all the pain, are you listening Ana?
Yes I’m listening and I can tell you that I am going on 26 and I have Joy! I can tell you that even after my abuse, after years of being used I have Joy! Only God can give us joy! You are set free in Jesus name. The gift of JOY is yours through The Holy Spirit. It’s not easy, praying for Joy when you feel broken.
Ok, here we go.
I was married at 16, eventually my exposure to sex at a young age led me to becoming pregnant at 16 and by God’s grace getting married. You can read more on that story here. I was a child living a life of a grown adult. You’re telling me there’s Joy? No way. Not until I came to Jesus and surrendered completely in my 20’s.
Without the fruit of the spirit of Joy we are bitter Christian woman. We are angry Christian woman, we are sad Christian woman, we are revengeful woman. I was all the above. I’m not saying you have no rights to emotions or that these emotions are a sin, well maybe the last one. But without The Joy as one of the fruits of the spirit we are just dry bones. I needed Joy. I tried to find Joy in the world but it led me to a darker pit. Only Jesus can give us that gift of Joy through the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
The bible was inspired by The Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that is in us. We go through seasons in life of dry bones but ladies we can’t stay there, we have The Holy Spirit to give us Joy! It’s a wonderful fruit to have, to develope and to ask God to help us embrace!
- Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Oh friend, we see the Holy Spirit at work in this verse.
- James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. See, all our trials lead us to Jesus and even through dry nine seasons we should count it as Joy, boy that’s hard to accept.
- Luke 15:10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Wow how awesome is this?!
- Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! I know I’ve sowed tears, and now I reap shouts of Joy! The gift of J O Y, from The Holy Spirit helps us to see joy in all circumstances.
- Romans 5:11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. This alone is worth all Joy for me.
When I first read the whole passage for The Fruits of the Spirit friends I was so mad! I literally had none of them. I had no love for others, and I defenitly didn’t have Joy. So I went from an abused child who had no joy to an adult who refused to accept Joy. I just didn’t think I deserved to have Joy. For some reason in my mind the more serious I am the godlier I must look. The more I resist enjoying life with my family, the more I get gold stars from God. That’s in no way what bible teaches, if anything scripture describes the religious leaders that way! Oh my. Are you like that? Oh do I struggle with it. I miss out on community with the body of Christ because I lack Joy. I miss out on making memories with my husband because I’m to Holy to laugh. I miss out on hugging my children because I’m to serious. I miss out on life. That is not Joy. This I struggle with. This I put at Jesus feet. This I beg God to help me develope. This I pray without ceasing.
Without the gift of Joy from The spirit I’ve found that I:
Can’t forgive myself
Can’t come to Jesus
Can’t love my husband
Can’t be there for my daughters
I’m a religious leader
I’m dry bones
I’m not worth it
All this, God sets us free in his sons Holy name. Through the Holy Spirit who, in his mercy gives us a precious gift of J O Y. Are you in a dry bone season? Maybe you’re reading this and have no idea who God is? Friend, my sweet sisters come to Jesus. He is our only hope in finding Joy, in a broken world. The type of Joy that makes you smile even when your past is terribly hurtful because you can now reach out to others with the same experience, the kind of Joy that makes you smile even when you know your loved one has passed because you know you loved them while they lived. The type of Joy that makes you smile when you pray to God for strength to put the pills down. The type of Joy that makes you smile even when you know that God being all mighty came down and became man, he was crucified without blame by us for us. In a tomb for three days, came back to life and left us to return to heaven but he left us his helper. The Holy Spirit. That you might be reading this and give your life and hope to Jesus. Truly Jesus is the only Joy in life that no one can mimick. No one can take that from you. A Joy that only God can give. Nothing this world has to offer can come close to the gift of Joy.
I’m so happy that Joy is one of the gifts he left us ladies. Life in Christ without joy is not possible. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible to ask God to help us see the Joy in our mess. Can I pray for you? Can you pray for me? I know Gods not giving me gold stars for being bitter. Let us pray for this beautiful gift.
With so much love, Ana Nelson