by Eric Vorhies
Several years ago I heard a speaker share an experience about a college basketball game that he wanted to watch. He was unable to watch it live, but he managed to record it. His plan was to avoid all TVs for the day. I also imagine that his conversations were similar to: “Don’t tell me the score of the game, and when is my next meeting?” Finally, he got home and as he was walking through the door, he thought, “I did it.” Then he was greeted warmly by his son, “Wow, that was an exciting win today dad!”
Though irritated, he was determined. He started watching the game. Like with all sporting events, some bad calls were made. Poor decisions, injuries, and deficits were suffered by his team. And that’s when something interesting happened. This experience was different. He knew the outcome. The pointless turnover was emotionally mitigated by the fact that his team would win. All the stressful moments were no match for the knowledge of victory.
Each part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, in my understanding, is a perspective shift. Joy is not about being excited or happy about the present circumstances. It is about knowing that those present circumstances aren’t permanent. Armed with the knowledge of future victory, Paul writes, “In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content.”
The theme of Psalm 30 can be found in its fifth verse: “Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning.” Today some people are dealing with weeping spending the night. The pain of life is real. You might be going through it now, or you might be going through it tomorrow. Either way, you will have those moments. But whether it is a divorce, tension between a parent and a child, or financial struggles, joy will come in the morning! In the midst of failed relationships or consequences of bad decisions, joy can be had. If we shift our perspective, we can view the poor decisions, injuries, and deficits of life as simple speed bumps on our path to eternal victory because we know, that one day, we will be in perfect union with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
That kind of joy is the joy that the Holy Spirit is offering.