I was able to take a day off and sit down to read and meditate on the Lord's word. What made it better was that I could do this with my mom, in the comfort of my own home. She has been here for a little over a week and it has been such a blessing to have her here. She has been able to cook, clean, give hugs when needed, support me, and see everything I do in my daily life. She has also had the blessed opportunity to come to 2 other villages with the basketball girls and me. That is not always the case when people come out here to visit. It actually was amazing to see the Lord's hand in all of this month. My mom and I had planned for her to come this month to see 2 home basketball games that were scheduled. However, they both had been cancelled and had been replaced with 2 away games. Well, I will tell you that I was not joyful, happy, or pleased with this. She has already bought her ticket and it would have been too expensive for her to change. So, we made the best of it and were going to enjoy all the time we could spending time with each other even if I would be away for 3 weekends while she was here. Needless to say, God had better plans than I thought. I was able to have her watch our games in Newhalen as well as Newstuyhok. She was even my assistant coach this past weekend. She was able to be right there with me and we have not missed one day of spending time together. I remember praying about her trip here and that the Lord would be in our time together. He blew my expectations and frustrations out of the water. I see now that he had my back and knew exactly what he was doing which doesn't surprise me because He always knows what He is doing. So as we sat there, we spent time together in God's word discussing the topic of joy and
what it looks like in our daily life. Here are a few verses and concepts we looked at.
Romans 5:3-"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Rejoice: to be full of joy
Base Word: joy
Prefix: re means again and again
"You experience joy during or after difficult or hard times."
Joy is a fruit of the spirit. It has to be decided just like every other fruit of the spirit.
Galatians 5:17-For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the spirit, and the spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want."
"God's Holy Spirit produces joy" Our perspective needs to change in that joy does not come automatically and we lack joy because you don't ask for it.
Galatians 5:22 "The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." As I sat there thinking how often I have been told "love" is a choice, I guess I have never paid attention that every other fruit of the spirit has to be chosen as well. Granted, I do not naturally choose the fruit of the spirit and the reason goes back to Galatians 5:17.
"Circumstances seem to surround us with fog that sunlight cannot penetrate. yet faith is the way we get above the valley-the means by which we "set our hearts on things above" (Colossians 3:1). As we do, the Lord enables us to rise above our circumstances and find courage and calmness for the day. As the apostle Paul wrote, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances" (Philippians 4:11). We can climb out of our misery and gloom. We can sit for a time on the mountainside and through Christ who gives us strength, we can gain a different perspective. Before we can fully find joy, I think we need to come to a place of contentment.
Although we can't always see God or what He may be doing, may we rest in His love for us.
I challenge you, along with myself, to find joy in our circumstances this week. Actively seek the Lord and ask for His help, guidance, strength, and direction in finding the joy even in the smallest of things. You can choose to have joy when everyone around you may be choosing sadness, anger, frustration, hatred, or anything that is the opposite of joy. When we stand before the Lord, we only have to answer about actions, motivation, thoughts, and words we have said or done. We will never have to answer for how someone else conducts themselves. So, I hope you all have a blessed week and thank you for taking time to read my blog. I hope you may find joy this week.