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marbella3 66F
2405 posts
6/24/2019 3:09 am
Playing with Joy

Bible in a Year:

Job 1–2; Acts 7:22–43
The fruit of the Spirit is . . . joy.

Galatians 5:22

Galatians 5:22-26
One of our sons, Brian, is a high school basketball coach. One year, as his team was dribbling its way through the Washington State Basketball Tournament, well-meaning folks around town asked, “Are you going to win it all this year?” Both players and coaches felt the pressure, so Brian adopted a motto: “Play with joy!”

I thought of the apostle Paul’s last words to the elders of Ephesus: “That I may finish my race with joy” (Acts 20:24 ). His aim was to complete the tasks Jesus had given him. I have made these words my motto and my prayer: “May I run and finish my race with joy.” Or as Brian says, “May I play with joy!” And by the way, Brian’s team did win the state championship that year.

We all have good reasons to get grouchy: discouraging news, everyday stresses, health problems. Nevertheless, God can give us a joy that transcends these conditions if we ask Him. We can have what Jesus called, “my joy” (John 15:11).

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit of Jesus (Galatians 5:22). So we must remember each morning to ask Him to help us: “May I play with joy!” Author Richard Foster said, “To pray is to change. This is a great grace. How good of God to provide a path whereby our lives can be taken over by . . . joy.”

Reflect & Pray
What causes you to be discouraged? Where do you find your joy?

I turn my eyes to You, God. I’m grateful I can count on Your faithfulness to me. Please bring me into Your joy.


MrsJoe 72F
11462 posts
6/24/2019 6:22 am

Many do not realize the difference between joy and happiness. I'm sure everyone on the team was happy to win, but if they played with joy, even losing would not take that joy away.

If you expect nothing from anyone, you won't be disappointed, but you might be pleasantly surprised.