At a recent party, a friend shared something her father practiced. What she said reminded me of the words inscribed on a plaque in my childhood home: Jesus, Others, and You

A long time ago (in a place far, far away!), a date took me horseback riding on a trail around a beautiful lake. I didn’t tell him, but this was my first time on a horse. Everything went as smooth as glass until my horse got spooked, bucked up, and down I fell. Guess my date wasn’t all that experienced either, because the same thing happened to him. Only problem was that when he fell, he landed on my stomach and knocked the wind out of me.

I can honestly say that wasn’t a joyful experience! My lungs didn’t reinflate until several sharp blows on my back. As you might guess, the date went downhill from there.  🙂

The Bible gives us fair warning that we’ll have trouble in this fallen world. Adversity might come in the form of bruises, maybe even a sucker-punch. We can be riddled by friendly fire—blasts from those closest to us. There are times when we’ll be rattled or even shaken to the core. We might even lose everything … except what’s at the core.

Then, how do we count it all joy as these things happen and even rejoice like James and Peter?

When we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us, we become more like Jesus. His love and joy and peace dwell inside. Outward circumstances – financial, relational, physical, or spiritual – cannot touch or disturb what’s at work, what God’s cultivating in us. His joy.

So, what does this have to do with Jesus, Others, and You? Jesus first in our lives helps us see Others as He does. We don’t have to fret about how to escape life’s troubles or worry about ourselves. If we’ll but trust Him, He’ll care for us like the flowers of the field. He stands beside us in the fire and on the mountaintop.

If we’re honest, we all need a little more J.O.Y. I’ll take two helpings, please.  🙂

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain You; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22, NIV)

By eMarie

To leave a comment, please click on the title above FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: THE JOY OF J.O.Y. and scroll down. Thank you and God bless you!  🙂


  1. I love this, Erma! I recall at one of my husband’s doctor appointments several years ago, his physician asked him, “So what brings you joy in your life?” I thought that was such a valid question for one person assessing the health of another. May you find joy as you prioritize J.O.Y.!

    1. Amen!! In the hustle and bustle of life, we need to take time to gather as much J.O.Y. as possible!!! Thanks for stopping by, Patti!!! You are a joy!!! 🙂

  2. Thanks for this, Erma!

    And when I sing, “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” I like to increase my portion by bouncing the notes all over the road, taking about three minutes on the word, “joy.”

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