The Spirit of Joy
By Christy Lowman
We are going to start a series on the fruits of the Spirit. This month we are going to talk about JOY. What is joy? According to Oxford Languages, Joy means a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Have you ever experienced joy?
Key times in my life when I experienced great joy would be when I accepted Christ as my Savior and got baptized, when I got married, when my children were born, and when they got saved and later baptized.
The fruits of the spirit are gifts given from the Holy Spirit to believers. They are visible to nonbelievers and set us apart from them. The gift of joy doesn’t just mean happiness. It is a supernatural gift that only believers can experience. Pure joy can only be experienced by believers because it is the peace and assurance that you and your life are right with God. It is the assurance that when you die you are going to go to heaven to live with Jesus and other believers.
Did you know there is a bird that represents joy? It happens to be one of my favorite backyard birds. The Bluebird. The bluebird is known as the “bird of happiness” or joy. It is associated with joy, hope, peace, and happiness.
If you don’t know, bluebirds are blue with a reddish, rusty-colored chest. The males have brighter blue colors to attract the females while the girls are a duller blue to help protect them from predators while they are nesting.
Bluebirds are omnivores that can spot an insect on the ground 60 feet away from them. They have also been known to see caterpillars in the tall grass up to fifty yards away. They will then “drop-hunt” to seize the insect. Drop-hunt is where they sit in a tree branch and wait until they see their prey. They will then swoop down and gobble it up. Their favorite foods are live mealworms, spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, and crickets. If insects aren’t present, they will eat juniper berries, blueberries, sumac, and mistletoe. They will eat up to twelve percent of their total body weight. If you compared this to a human, it would be like a two-hundred-pound person consuming twenty-four pounds of food each day.
Bluebirds can fly up to 45mph. They are considered songbirds and are one of the earliest birds you will hear in the spring. Their songs are low-pitched whispers that consist of one to three short notes. Sometimes their song sounds like the words “truly” and “purity.” A young male who is still looking for a female can sing four hundred to one thousand songs per hour.
Bluebirds can live up to six to ten years but most of them die before they turn one year old from predators, starvation, and flying into windows.
These birds are small and have a hard time building their own nests so most of the time they will use old nests that are left by other birds like woodpeckers. The females do what little nest-building they do. The pair will have 2-3 sets of babies a year. Each set can contain three to five pale blue eggs. It’s rare, but some mothers will have white eggs instead of blue. While the first set of babies is still growing the father will take over their care while the female builds a new nest for the next set of eggs. Once the first set of youngsters gets old enough sometimes they will stay home and help take care of their new baby brothers and sisters.
Bluebirds and very social birds and will stay in a group of a dozen birds in the spring and summer and will join together in a group of up to one hundred birds in the fall and winter. Most bluebirds will migrate for the colder months.
Have you ever heard a bluebird sing before? The sound is pure joy! Head outside and see if you can spot one in your own backyard. They are found all over North America. You can also set out specific birdhouses that are made just for bluebirds. A plate of live mealworms will encourage them to visit you.
While you look for this joyful bird think about joy as a fruit of the spirit. Do you rest assured with the type of joy that your life is right with God and He will take care of you? That you will live eternally in heaven with Him? Do you experience everyday joy and happiness? The blessing of waking up each morning is reason enough to be joyful! What brings you, Joy?
Dear Lord, help us feel the fruit of the spirit “joy” in our hearts as well as everyday joy in our lives. Help us rest assured that we are right with You. Help others see the fruits of the spirit in us. In Jesus’s name, we pray, Amen.
“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” Psalm 32:11
Christy Lowman is a Christian author and illustrator that lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband and two children. She enjoys writing and illustrating books for all ages. Some of her short stories are published with Guideposts and HCI. Christy gives all the glory to God in everything she does. A portion of every book sold from the Small Bible Character Series will be donated to battle human trafficking. If you enjoy her books, “like’ her author page on Facebook and let her know! You can buy her books at //www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AChristy+Lowman&s=relevancerank&text=Christy+Lowman&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1. You can reach her at //www.facebook.com/authorChristyLowman/
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