Day 23 Devo - Joy In The Spirit

In the United States of America, all citizens are guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Notice that the last right doesn't guarantee us happiness- only the right to pursue it.  Truth is, we always seem to be pursuing it.  When we do apprehend it, it isn't long before it slips from our grasp, and we end up pursuing it once again.

Happiness is a temporary effect produced by favorable circumstances.  It only lasts as long as the circumstances that causes it.  Because the circumstances in our lives are often not favorable, our pursuit of happiness is often unfruitful.  If happiness is truly the great treasure to be pursued, then life is desperately unfair.  Some people who find happiness don't deserve it.  On the other hand, some good people are victims of terrible circumstances and never really know happiness in their lives.

Fortunately, God has something much more beautiful and durable for His children than the frustration of chasing shadows they cant hold on to.  When the Spirit of God comes to live in our hearts, He gives us Joy.

• Look at the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.  The first fruit mentioned is the greatest gift of all - love.  Notice that the second fruit of the Spirit that is mentioned is joy!  Joy is a great promise, and an important one. 

Point to Ponder:

Even when situations in your life cause unhappiness, you can still have the joy from the Spirit!  God's joy does not depend on any outward circumstances; it comes from the inward Holy Spirit.  The church of Thessalonica was suffering severe hardship at the time Paul the apostle taught there, yet they had great joy in the Holy Spirit!

... In spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.     - Paul (1 Thessalonians 1:6)