For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 (NLT)
A life lived in the Kingdom of God has three defining characteristics. First it is a life of goodness. Goodness is the quality of being good. In particular, goodness is virtue or moral excellence. A life of goodness flows from God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Without the Lord, you cannot live a life of goodness.
The second virtue of the Kingdom of God is peace. Jesus told His followers, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT) Jesus is the Prince of Peace. You cannot have peace of mind and heart without knowing Him.
The third characteristic of the Kingdom of God is joy. Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is the product of outside circumstances. Joy is the product of the Holy Spirit living within you. To experience joy, you must stay focused on Jesus. He must be the largest, most important person, thing or issue in your life. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Put your foot down and make a decision to be a joyful person. A joyful person is content in the circumstances of life. The Apostle Paul said he learned to be content in all circumstances (Philippians 4:11). Contentment is a choice and is learned; therefore, practice being content.
Receive God’s love to be full of joy. The Lord offers His love freely. He gave His only Son for you, and there is no greater love. People who experience depression feel unloved and unwanted. Trust in the Lord and His love for while you were living in the darkness of sin, He loved you and Christ died for you. (Romans 5:8)
Draw near to Jesus and become a person of joy.
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