Pastor Becky Jo Messenbrink
Recently a friend said they had looked up the definition of joy and discovered that it means “exuberant happiness.” That reminded me of a plaque that another friend gave me several years ago that read, “Happiness is not a destination; it is a journey.” Joy = exuberant happiness. Sometimes we have a tendency to believe that we will be happy when…when we get our degree; when we get the perfect job; when we find the perfect girl or guy; when we can afford the perfect house; or maybe even all of the above! Yet how many people do we know who have everything I’ve mentioned who still are not really happy? We are told that living in the Spirit provides all those fruit, but while many say they have the fruit, my experience is that what they say and how they live don’t always match.
But what happens when we live God’s way? God brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Galatians 5:22-23.