It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we experience the joy of salvation and are enabled to rejoice even in the midst of trials.Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness, page 113
I sometimes forget the role of the Holy Spirit in Christian rebirth since many of the fruits of the Spirit I can fake for a short while with my own efforts. Trusting too much in my own efforts leads me to doubt that there even is a Holy Spirit.
Joy is a fruit that is difficult to fake. True, I can smile when events or emotions challenge me, but people looking closely see through it.
What this tells me is there is more going on to make joy possible than my own efforts. Although I might be tempted to refuse to participate in the working of the Holy Spirit, the more I let the Holy Spirit work in me the less I am persuaded to work against Him.
And yet there are many times when circumstances seem overwhelming. Imagine the despair the Israelites felt trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army. And yet God was there for them. Or, imagine what Hagar felt in the desert before God spoke to her. But then He spoke.
Weekly Parashah Readings
Parashah: Ki Tisa 18 Adar, 5782 – February 19, 2022
Torah: Exodus 30:11-34:35
Haftarah: Kings I 18:20-39
Brit Chadashah: 2 Corinthians 3:1-18
Resources: Chabad, Hebrew4Christians, Weekly Torah Readings, Calendar