Where to Find Joy (Galatians 5:22) – Your Daily Bible Verse – July 27


Where to find joy (Galatians 5:22)
By: Anne Peterson

Today’s Bible Verse: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness… – Galatians 5:22

Has anyone ever asked you where your joy is? Perhaps you have started looking within yourself, or even around you, trying to locate this important part of your Christian walk. Maybe you’ve wondered why some people seem to exude joy every time you see them, but the same can’t be said for you.

It’s not like we can put up posters everywhere trying to find our missing joy.

My Bible teacher, Lois, read to me the words of Hebrews 12:2: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for joy seated before him, endured the cross, despising his shame, and sat down at the right hand of our Father” (Hebrews 12:2). And then she asked me a question. Do you know what that joy was?

It was us! Jesus went through everything he did because he was thinking of those of us who would one day accept him. We are the joy reserved for him.

Our opening verse tells us where to find joy. It is a fruit that we will develop as we walk with Christ. It is true that some show joy no matter what is happening in their lives. How do they do? Well, maybe they got through their ordeal or their loss. It’s probably fair to say that they didn’t feel joyful when their trials began.

Some of the happiest people I have met are those who have gone through some of the most difficult circumstances. And there are some who are still in these difficult circumstances, too. It is therefore not the absence or the presence of our circumstances that determines our joy. This should be what we focus on. Where we rest our faith.

I love the lyrics to the hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus written by Helen H. Lemmel.

Turn your eyes to Jesus,

take a full look at His wonderful face.

And the things of the earth will grow strangely dark,

in the light of his glory and his grace.

Remember being a new believer? We thought God could do anything. We couldn’t be silent about the Lord, sharing about him with whoever would give us a few minutes. Were we happy then? Yes, we were delighted.

But then the trials began to appear in our lives. Sometimes heartbreaking things. And God showed us day by day that he would be our sufficiency (2 Corinthians 3:5). It took time for some of us to realize that we couldn’t do everything. God lovingly brought us to the end of ourselves so that we could see that he was the one who would supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19).

God would be the one who would direct our paths when we trust in him wholeheartedly (Proverbs 3:5-6). And we realized that without him we could do nothing (John 15:5).

Before learning this truth, we might have thought that without him we could do less. Or without him, we were missing something. But knowing without Him we can do nothing? It was a difficult but essential lesson in walking with God.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit of God, a fruit we will manifest as we continue to walk with the Lord. Is joy the same as happiness? No.

Christian author and speaker Jill Briscoe explained the difference between happiness and joy. She said: “Happiness is when things go your way and you feel happy. But joy is when things don’t happen as you wish, but you feel happy. Joy does not depend on our circumstances, but despite our circumstances.

The Holy Spirit produces joy in our lives in His time. In order for us to develop the fruit of God, we must read and apply the Word of God in our lives. A springboard is recognition. God tells us in every situation to be grateful (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Many years ago I thought that when I had fewer problems, then I would be happy. But Paul learned, no matter what condition he was in, to be satisfied (Philippians 4:11). And his life has not always been easy. Paul actually sang in prison (Acts 16:25).

It occurred to me that we were the joy placed before Jesus. And He is the joy set before us. What are you thinking about?

Father, would you help me,

when others look at me?

Help me to be happy,

so my joy is what they see.

help me be grateful
with what you choose to do.

And Lord, when others look at me,

let others see you.
—Anne Peterson © 2021

Anne Peterson is a poet, lecturer, published author of 16 books, including her latest book, Always There: Finding God’s Comfort Through Loss. Anne’s earliest memoir is: Broken: A story of Abuse, Survival and Hope. She has published children’s books and collections of poetry, such as Droplets: Poetry for those in Grief and He Whispers: Poetic talks with God. Anne is also a regular contributor to Crosswalk.com. Anne’s poetry has been sold in gift shops since 1996. Check out Anne’s website at www.annepeterson.com or connect with her on Facebook.

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