The Eighteenth Day of Advent
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Out of the nine fruits of the Spirit, the characteristic of joy is a very personal and intimate gift from God to each one of us. It is not something that we can muster up from within ourselves using our own strength and will, especially during times of frustration and sadness. We greatly desire it and tend to recklessly search for it only to find substitutes that are fleeting and lack depth. In chapters 5 of Galatians and 8 of Romans, Paul gives us clear instruction for obtaining this joy: do not gratify the desires of the flesh or sinful nature but let the Holy Spirit within you dictate how you live. Once we let the Spirit take over, then there is a manifestation of joy deep within ourselves. Not only do we receive this wonderful gift of joy, but we also have the opportunity to experience God’s supernatural intervention in our lives as we miraculously exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.