And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:11
“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” – Brother Lawrence
- Let the Holy Spirit minister to you today. He longs to tell that God completely loves you. He sees your deepest need and will answer the cries of your heart. Remember, you are an overcomer through Him!
- Grab your Bible, journal, and a pen, and go to your favorite place where you meet with Jesus. Take along something delicious to drink. Read Romans 8:1-17.
- Write Romans 8:11 onto three sticky notes. Put one on the mirror in your bathroom, one in your car, and one by your kitchen sink.
You’ve got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in Your Heart!
Do you ever wake up in the morning just wanting to stay in your warm, comfy bed because you feel you have nothing but an endless amount of work to look forward to and your life is unimportant? Are you overwhelmed, and no longer have joy in your heart as you go about your day? Do you want to change your feelings about your life but feel inadequate and powerless to do so?
I confess that my bed, blanket, and pillow often feel more welcoming than my true life reality. I have seven wonderful children, five still at home, and lots of work to do every day — day in and day out. It can be very overwhelming at times. Even the simplest of duties, like fixing my bed, or washing the dishes & laundry can inundate me. I can get down and discouraged. Sometimes I find myself wanting to give in to these carnal feelings and thoughts of self-pity and depression.
How do we receive joy from God? Galatians 5:22 says that joy (among others) is a Fruit of the Spirit. So if the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts (Romans 8:11), joy already dwells in us, it is already present! That means even when we are not feeling it, we have the ability to “turn it on.”
But how do we do that?
The next couple of verses in Galatians 5:24-25, Paul talks about crucifying our flesh (our old affections & lusts) and living and walking in the Spirit. Our feelings are just that. Feelings. Our feelings or emotions that have not surrendered to the lordship of the Holy Spirit cannot be trusted. They are fleshly and carnal. Deep down inside of us, where the Holy Spirit dwells, we have the power to say no to any emotions that aren’t of God.
Joy is a choice. Just like we pick out what clothes to put on every day, we can pick joy. This is how we walk in the Spirit! We have the ability to choose what kind of an attitude we have every day because we have access to all of His Fruit, all the time! So no matter how depressed or discouraged we may feel, we have the power to turn those feelings around and be encouraged. Isn’t God good to give us the power to do that?!
Choosing joy is what gets me up in the morning. When those overwhelming feelings hit me, I hit the Holy Spirit reset button. Knowing that I have the power, gives me hope and joy for the new day ahead. It is a surrendering of my will and flesh and being obedient to His Spirit. It is not always easy, but God is always faithful. Never once has He let me down when I draw from Him, but it is my choice to choose Him.
My dear sisters, let’s put into practice this ability to live and walk in the Spirit. Next time we wake up feeling depressed, a child is being difficult, or the duties of life overwhelm us, let’s choose God’s way. Let’s choose joy. Whatever we do, we can bring God into it, and when we do, we are an overcomer. Romans 8:14 says that if we are led by the Spirit, we are His children. How beautiful!
Questions to ponder
- Nehemiah 8:10 says, “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Do you feel like you have lost your joy in the Lord in any area of your life?
- What steals your joy? What areas of your life lack joy? What are the causes? Are you overwhelmed, burdened, fearful, anxious, prideful, angry, or harboring any unforgiveness towards anyone?
- Write a prayer asking for forgiveness and help to overcome these areas of your life where you have lost your joy.
(Note: Your feelings of depression, discouragement, and weariness could simply be due to your particular season in life. When we have small children in our homes, it’s so easy to become discouraged and sour. These are the wonderful times in our lives where we get to rely on the Lord moment by moment. Remember, God wants us to depend on Him for everything, so when you are overcome with the difficulties in your particular season, and having to depend on God for help, you are exactly where He wants you to be. The Lord is with you!)
This week, practice waking up FOR your children instead of waking up TO your children. There is a difference.
When we wake up TO the children, they are an intrusion. All we can think about is staying in bed, or having a moment of quiet while they are so excited to greet us and start their days. Our days start to become all about simply making it through the day until we can finally put the children to bed.
When we wake up FOR our children, we get up a few minutes before the children to have some time with the Lord- to focus on Him, pray for His help and energy to be the best mom we can be for our children in the power of the Holy Spirit, and to savor the day with our little ones. When the children arise, we are happy to see them and have our hearts ready and look forward to the day with our children.
Do you see the difference?
We would love to hear from you! What do you wish you would have known as a younger mom?[/box]
Mari Jo had an encounter with the living God in 2000, and was freed from the bondage of legalism. She is passionate about Jesus and his love, and desires for everyone to know He is alive!