Harvest of Joy
Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our lack of success.
-James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)
I will never forget the first time I experienced the supernatural joy of the Lord. I found myself laughing with great joy for what seemed like hours, and was completely overcome for months by this refreshing joy of the Lord. Today, I am still thankful for this joy of the Lord within me.
Scripture is full of testimony of this supernatural joy and a life of joy in God. According to John 15, our greatest joy is found in our pursuit of God and the fruitfulness this pursuit brings. The fruitful Christian life can be found in the overflow of ministry to others. The quality of this fruit is determined by our character, and how we are transformed—displaying the fruit of the Spirit. But each Christian ought to reproduce spiritual fruit of ministry to others. Could it be the lack of joy in your life is directly related to the lack of receiving seed from God and sowing that seed in other’s lives?
In the example of the vine and the branches from John 15, we are the branches and Christ is the vine. The “overflow” or fruit of our vines is personal evangelism—ministry. The quality of the fruit—evangelism—is determined by how we yield to the work of God in the transformation of our character.
Today, ask God to mature your fruit. Allow Him to change your character and display in you spiritual fruit. Allow God to increase your ability to bear much fruit in ministry to others. Lord, give us fruit that remains! As you sow your seeds today in ministry to others, know that God is bringing forth a harvest of joy in your life!