Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Fruit Of Joy

The Fruit Of Joy

Written by Amanda Hawkins

  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." -- Galations 5:22-23

  Today I am going to talk about one of the fruits of the spirit: joy.

  Joy is something that not everyone has, yet everyone strives for. I recently realized that I lack joy in my life. Allow me to explain... I am very happy. Happily married, happy and content with my life, however, I take everything rather seriously, always trying to get things done, straight to the point, no messing around, which in turn leaves no time for joy.

  My husband, Dominic, tries to flick water playfully at me while we're doing the dishes, and I resort to aggravation. 'Stop, we have to finish the dishes."

  He tries to wrestle with me, not allowing me to leave the room, and I get upset, telling him we have things to do, when in reality all we had to do was fold some laundry.

  Every day lately has been this w
ay. I realized recently, that I don't want to be that way. I realized that if I keep turning my husband away when he's trying to joke around with me, one day he's just going to stop joking with me, and our marriage will suffer, even leading us to be bored of one another. 

  I realized that every time I resorted to anger in return to playfulness, I was hurting him, and myself, and my husband even admitted that it hurt him. I realized that I need joy. I was sick towards myself for the way that I had acted, and I knew that it was sin.

  When I told my husband how I felt, he understood, and he told me to pray with him, and we did. We prayed for a long time. He was praising God in silence, while I weeped, repented, and asked the Lord for that joy that I had been missing.

  Now that I am aware of it, I know the Lord will show me when I am reacting in anger, rather than joy, and peace, and love, longsuffering, and goodness, gentleness, meekness, and temperance.

  "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." -- James 1:19-20

  I had allowed anger and things of the world to dull my joy.

  Joy is in my heart, but my worries, and seriousness, and sin, had covered it up for so long. Now I am once again filled with the joy that I lacked, and I can be my husbands playmate, smiling more often, joking, and wrestling, and having water fights in the kitchen. I can express the joy of the Lord to others, and even use this story as a testimony. God is good.

  If you are struggling with joy, pray about it. Prayer is the only way to grow closer to God. There is no true joy outside of the Lord, and when we slip up, and grow away from the Lord at times, we lose the fruit of the spirit.
  I know that my joy comes from the Lord. I am blessed. I praise the Lord, and I thank Him for His goodness, and for His forgiveness to a repentant heart. I pray that you find your joy in the Lord as well.

    Peace be with you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Do You Feel Like You're Not Good Enough?

Do You Feel Like You're Not Good Enough?
Written by Amanda Hawkins

    There are times when a woman who tries to be a Godly woman, and fails occasionally, becomes very self conscious, and sorrowful. She may feel as if she is not a good enough wife, or that she is not fulfilling her purpose. It is no fault of the husband, because he patiently assures her that she is a great wife, and that she does well. But the woman feels a sort of pain because she knows she can do better to serve the Lord, yet she doesn't feel good enough.
     This is not how we should feel. Even though we are not worthy, the Lord forgives us, and takes us in as his children. We are good enough once we accept him into our lives and repent, and God helps us with the things we need work on from from there. If we are having trouble being a helpful, patient, loving wife, God will work on us. If we are having trouble because we lash out in anger occasionally, God will work on us, but it is not something to constantly bring yourself down about, believing you will never be a good enough wife, or that you will never live up to your purpose for the Lord.

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" -- 2 Corinthians 13:5

     It is good to examine yourself, but thinking of yourself as a failure, and constantly considering yourself not good enough, is not good, and is something that you should examine in yourself. Do you see yourself this way at times?
     There is a difference between, 1, knowing that you are not worthy of God, and 2, never feeling good enough for God. The first one, is good because it allows us to realize God's power and glory and grace, that even though He is holy, He still forgives us and gives us eternal life. The second thought is self destructive, because it leads you to believe that nothing you ever do will please God, which is not true.
     This is something that in the past I have struggled with, and my husband has helped me work through it. My husband helped me to realize that I am a daughter of the Lord, and that I constantly seek ways to serve God and my husband. There are times I feel selfish, or times I don't do as I know would please the Lord, or I hold onto a grudge for a little too long, but we all make mistakes because we are not perfect, which is why we need God. All we have to do is repent, and if we are truly trying, the Lord forgives and continues to help build us up.
     Don't lose the faith, don't feel like you have broken a promise to yourself or God, and don't feel like you have failed. Just keep trying. Keep striving to do well for the Lord. Keep fulfilling your purpose as a wife, and as a Christian. If you falter once in a while even though you were trying not to, don't beat yourself up; pray about it, and get up and try again.
     It is not easy to live the life of a true Christian. You constantly battle with yourself. You battle with your flesh and sin. Your flesh tells you to be angry with your husband over a stupid argument you had at the store. Your flesh tells you to be bitter about it for the rest of the night, to make him see how you feel. But God, is pulling the strings of your heart telling you to pray about it, gain your composure, and forgive your husband. God tells you to lay it down at his feet, all your anger, and sin, and bitterness. It's not always easy. And sometimes when we struggle with it all the time, it makes us feel like we can never get it right, but the fact is, we can't get it right, ever, without God. The most important thing is staying close to God. Staying fervent in prayer and in faith, examining yourself, and asking God to help you in areas that you know you need help, and in ares that you are uncertain. 
     I pray that this post helped you to see that you have worth to the Lord, and that He is forgiving, even when you have a hard time forgiving yourself.
     Peace be with you, in the name of Jesus Christ.