My Prayer for the New Year: Joy
Today's fruit of the Spirit is JOY. I'm pretty excited to talk about this particular fruit of the Spirit!
First, let's look at the original language. In the original language, JOY is defined as "joy because of grace." or "The awareness of God's grace." How beautiful is this?! I think what's so amazing about today's word is the fact that we're coming off of Christmas. We're starting the new year with the Christmas story on our minds. And what's so cool and timely about this is that the same word JOY in Galatians 5:22 that is used as a fruit of the Spirit, is the same exact word (same definition) used to describe the wise men's (or magi's) reaction to finding Jesus.
This verse reminds me of Jeremiah 29:13- "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Matthew 2:9-11 takes Jeremiah 29:13 one step further to highlight what happens when you come face to face with Jesus. When you come face to face with HOPE. The wise men couldn't help but rejoice with great joy, worship, and lay their treasures at Jesus' feet.
I think of my own life when I finally discovered Jesus, the answer to my life's deepest longing, I couldn't help but find my heart filled with exceedingly great joy, I couldn't help but worship. I couldn't help but lay down my life at Jesus' feet. Even today, when I think of that moment when I discovered Jesus, I can't help but praise and worship Him! That's just a happiness that no one can take away.
I believe these wise men were fully aware of the prophecies of the Messiah. I believe they understood that the Messiah was that sacred link between God and man. I'm not sure if they understood (on that day) the beautiful and amazing grace that was before them.
Are we aware of God's grace today? Do we understand the beautiful and amazing grace, the sacred link between God and man, that is Jesus? Do we understand that God looked at us? He LOOKED AT US! He saw us lost in our sin, He saw our hopelessness and our empty lives, and He came up with a solution. That solution is Jesus.
Jesus, there are so many reasons to be thankful. There are many reasons to praise You. First and foremost is Your sacrifice. Thank you for dying on the cross in my place. Thank You for opening my eyes and making me aware of grace. It's because of You that I have joy. I pray that you keep this knowledge of your grace on the forefront of my mind, that my year would be full of JOY. In Your name, Amen.