This article was first published at Morning By Morning.
While I love being home with my children, I haven’t loved the work involved in tending to their needs, particularly managing and keeping up with our home. I can be a lazy slob at times. I was the girl who thought hard work was an effect of the fall of man until a college mentor directed me to Genesis 2 and the work God gave to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
Nevertheless, I still struggled to believe work was good and worthwhile. After two hard pregnancies and recoveries that forced me to lighten my work load, I lost hope that change in this area was even possible. Rather than choosing to believe God’s empowering grace (Titus 2:11-12) could help me grow one small step at a time, I preferred to “give myself grace” for all I refused to do.
My lack of belief robbed me of one of the greatest and irreplicable gifts of the Christian faith–joy. The more I held myself back from pursuing growth in this area, the more hope and joy in my salvation withered. I began to question whether God was really at work in my life. Could I change anymore than I already had? Would I ever experience the transforming power of his Spirit in this area? Would I ever learn to keep our home with joy?
Galatians 5:22 teaches us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and what I learned by this experience is that surrender is the surefire way to cultivate joy in the Lord. The Holy Spirit stretches us to surrender ourselves to God and, by doing so, he yields in us a deep, lasting joy that permeates our lives the more we align ourselves to his good, pleasing, and perfect will (Rom 12:2). Unlike earthly joy, which depends on good circumstances and is fleeting, this holy joy springs up from the ever powerful, ever glorious, ever unchanging Christ—and is rock solid.
We experienced holy joy when we first believed and walked in the newness of life (Rom 6:4) found in him alone. And we experience it now as we abide in our faith and continue to surrender ourselves to him.
Read the rest of the article at Morning By Morning!