Wednesday December 24
In John 15, Jesus described our relationship with Him as branches connected to the true vine. In a vineyard, grapes are produced when the plant’s sap runs through its branches. As Christ’s life-giving Spirit flows through us, spiritual fruit will develop. This includes divine joy (Gal. 5:22-23).
To experience this deep spiritual contentment, we must stay closely connected with the Lord. Jesus often slipped away so He and the Father could have intimate communion (Mark 1:35). He was able to endure much because of His fellowship with God and the joy He knew was to come (Heb. 12:2). In a similar way, the apostle Paul overflowed with joy even when he suffered (2 Cor. 7:4). He described a Christian’s connection with God this way: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20 niv).
Joy will increase when we follow Paul’s example and fix our attention upon Jesus rather than upon ourselves or our circumstances The more we abide in Him, the greater our spiritual happiness will be. Our initial reaction to hardship may be discouragement or overwhelming pain. But if we focus on Him and commune with His Spirit, our sense of peace will return. Remember, the Lord promised that His joy would be in us fully when we rest in Him.
What a powerful witness we’ll have when the Lord’s joy flows in and through us. It’s not an earthly happiness but a divine contentment that the Holy Spirit produces in us. Let spiritual joy permeate all you do and say.
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