This day is sacred to the Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” [Nehemiah 8:10]

JOY!  Paul said it was the fruit of the Spirit.   “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”   [Galatians 5:22-23]  Something that grows something dependent upon the health of the root.  If the young plant is rooted in the right place in the garden, bathed in light and receiving care it will continue to grow and flourish.  If the fruit is harmed in any way through neglect, storm or lack of moisture then it’s not the fruit, but the root system that must be nurtured and nourished.

One of the ingredients this root needs if the fruit is going to reach its potential is the cold, harsh reality of the winter season.  A season to rest in the earth, to replenish, strengthen and bring forth in ‘due season’ all the creative beauty God has destined for it. Winter seasons are of the utmost importance to what is happening in the unseen world of creation.

As the Son of the Creator of the universe, Jesus knew this principle and said; “My Father is always at work.”  [John 5:17]  Be assured this morning that God is working on your behalf even though you may not see the evidence.  This is part of the mystery of God, Albert Einstein said; “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”

In the root of the Hebrew language this word JOY means to be joined with!  You’ve been joined with the vine that is Christ this morning, you’ve been planted in God’s garden and your root has become King of Kings.  For the JOY that was set before Him Jesus endured…it takes courage to endure.

Anais Nin says; “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”   It’s a risk to believe in what you cannot see, but …faith… is the evidence of thing not yet seen” [Hebrews 11:1]

Remember the person who never takes a risk in living may risk never living at all.