Soul Fruit - Encouragement Café - November 15, 2016


Soul Fruit - Juice Overflowing Into Joy
By Paris Renae
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  John 15:11 NIV

Apples, oranges, pears, and more.  These are all good but then there is life-giving, sustaining, sharing fruit.  The kind of fruit mentioned in Galatians, manifested through us in nine different ways.  My favorite fruit?  Joy – and watermelon - the two have a lot in common.

Watermelon is my favorite edible fruit.  Full of sweet juice, some with seeds to spit, crunchy, and messy.  That’s a lot like joy.  The Spirit has filled me with Joy.  When I don’t hide it or when, in spite of today’s troubles, I share it, then it is a sweet nectar to a struggling soul.  Especially to my own soul.

At times, it can be messy to share God’s goodness.  When skies are gloomy, hospital rooms close in, or places feel lonely, showing joy can be messy.  But the Spirit exudes hope.  Joy allows us to spit out the seeds of fear or discontent or doubt.

Paul ministered so many years ago to a struggling body of believers as they would face much persecution.  His words are still meant for us today:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13 NIV

God fills us with all joy and we overflow with hope.  Like when we eat watermelon and it runs down our arms and a smile fills our face.  This Spirit fruit helps us in today’s struggles so that we may be encouraged, and be an encouragement to others, with the joy that never runs out.

Happiness is not listed in the fruit of the Spirit.  We can allow happiness to depend on circumstances and feelings.  Joy is listed because it depends on Someone rock solid – the Lover of our souls.  Our joy is complete because Jesus’ joy is in us.  Dear one, let that joy be complete by relying on it no matter the circumstances and by overflowing it to hungry souls.

Father, help us to rely more and more on the deposit You have left in us – the precious Holy Spirit.  Through Your Spirit we are filled with fruit – fruit that does not leave us empty, fruit that satisfies our deepest longings.  Show us how to not only let the hope You have given us sustain us through the ups and downs, show us how to live in such a way that others will be hungry for the fruit that truly satisfies.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

© 2016 by Paris Renae.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Tuesday, 15 November 2016.