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Joy is one sought-after fruit. People are looking to be happy, and they'll do just about anything for some joy. Sadly, even Christians often think it's an unattainable thing.

But joy isn't some mysterious gift from God. It isn't somewhere out there, waiting for you to find it. It doesn't come from other people or accomplishments in life. You can get some happiness from life, but lasting joy? No way!

Joy is a spiritual gift that doesn't come from the outside. It comes from the inside. Joy isn't around you, but it is literally in you. That is the miracle of the new birth. Consider that! The joy of the Lord is in you right now, regardless of how you feel. Because you are a believer, you can tap into it and watch it go to work for you.

Jesus knew that life would be tough sometimes. He knew we would go through tribulations in this sin-filled earth. And He told us what to do about tribulation. He said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

In response to tribulation, Jesus commands us to draw on the spiritual fruit of joy. Our comfort comes from knowing that He has already overcome the world and all the tribulations that are in it. And as His kids, we're entitled to share in that victory.

Some people want God to dump joy on them first, and then they'll be of good cheer. But that is like putting the cart before the horse. The way to get down the road fast is to put the horse before the cart and let the horse do the hard work.

Draw on the fruit of the Spirit dwelling in you first. How? By fulfilling His command to abide in Him and allowing His words to abide in you. The action of abiding is the horse that pulls the joy cart. It is where your power comes from.

When tribulation comes, I've seen a lot of people who actually back away from God. Then they wonder why they're so depressed. I always say, "If you want to be depressed, just stop talking to God. Skip church. Stop reading your Bible for awhile. Stop praising Him. Let the world wear on you a little, and sure enough, the devil will start throwing all kinds of depressing thoughts at you."

He'll even throw in a little cynicism with your depression. Cynicism and depression - now, there is a bone-drying combination! Mix that with a tribulating circumstance, and you've got problems!

Now, I understand that it is hard to be happy when you're sick. It's hard to be happy when you're struggling with something or someone in your life. That's understandable. You are human. You are an emotional creature, and I understand that sometimes the flesh tries to take over. But joy is a choice. It is a spiritual choice that can change soulish emotions.

Source: Breaking the Power of Natural Law by Jesse Duplantis.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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