This is the second installment of my nine-month series on The Fruit of the Spirit and its cultivation in our lives. With each post I’ll be including a free embroidery pattern download featuring the month’s topic.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” —Galatians 5:22-23
This month we will look at Joy.
Do you ever struggle like I do with bearing the fruits of the spirit? My desire is for these fruits to bear a witness in my life for the glory of the Lord. But I often fail. My attitude and perspective are so affected by my self-centered ideas and whatever is going on around me. But joy…well, it comes only from the Lord. It is internal and eternal.
I was recently talking with a relative whose husband is dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. She told me about how after a really bad day they had sat together and cried, and then rejoiced in the Lord, cried and rejoiced some more. They are going through the hardest trial of their lives, and yet they have the joy of the Lord.
With the Lord’s help we can cultivate and grow the fruit of His Spirit and prepare the soil for His work in our children as well.
5 Ways to Cultivate Joy:
1. Focus on Christ and the salvation that he has granted you. It’s hard to be bitter when your eyes are gratefully focused on your Savior’s work for you.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” —Psalm 16:11
“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”— John 16:24
3. Be in the word. Daily. His testimonies are a joy!
“Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” —Psalm 119:111
4. Share the mighty acts of the Lord with your children. Psalm 78:1-4
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” —3 John 1:4
5. Choose to be joyful even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t let your emotions lead you on a roller coaster.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3
What does this look like as you put it into practice?
Waking up to a new day, think about the Lord Jesus, His salvation, His mercies! Spend time in the word. Somehow. Even if it is reading scripture notes that you may have stuck around your house. Let your joy be evident through your countenance — your little ones are reading your face all the time. They are looking to you to understand life. Share with them the works of the Lord in your life and throughout history. When things get hectic or out of control, remember that the Joy of the Lord is within you and let it shine forth.
Free “JOY” Embroidery Pattern
As an extra way to remember to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, we’ve created a free embroidery pattern from Clementine Patterns – just for you! This pattern makes for a great mother-daughter project. Plus, each month we’ll be offering a free pattern that directly ties in with the fruit of the Spirit for that month.
This month’s pattern features several graphics for Joy.
Download the pattern for free by clicking here and embroider your own version of “Joy” for your home and family! (For personal use only. This PDF pattern is available for free download for two weeks – now through May 12th.) UPDATE: Now available here!
May your days be filled with JOY!
Previous posts in this series:
• Cultivating the Fruits of the Spirit: LOVE