This time of year can be very trying. The Christmas season is a distant memory and our New Year's resolutions have been forgotten or remembered with guilt. The cold weather stops us from doing some outdoor activities except skiing or snow shoeing, of course. We may get a reprieve on Super Bowl weekend but if the team we are rooting for loses it's not much help.
Many of us are already awaiting the spring flowers. It would be easy to become sorrowful and let our lives become bastions of displeasure. In order to overcome the winter doldrums, sometimes we listen to the lies of the world. We equate the month of February with worldly pleasure wrapped up in sensuality. We may begin to believe that love is this mystical thing like some of the romances we see in the movies or on television. But we know that love is a choice and the loving acts we choose to perform then bring the loving feelings we all desire.
During February, we also may seek pleasure in worldly passions such as money, power and intelligence. It is sad that we place such a high value on these worldly passions that do not truly fulfill our needs. As St. Paul writes, "Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21, ESV)
However Paul continues, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV)
God's Word provides us with the Holy Spirit who gives us the fruit that St. Paul writes about. This fruit is far more important than anything the world can provide. All worldly pleasures are lies from Satan and are only temporary while what God gives us is for eternity.
When we believe in God, not only do we receive the fruit of the Spirit but God also through King David's writings promises us, "Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday." (Psalm 37:3-6, ESV) We receive the Godly desires of our heart which are wrapped up in our relationship with Jesus Christ and with one another.
Join me this month of February as together we delight in the Lord who is the only one that can bring us the true desires of our hearts.
Pastor Jim Beilstein of Trinity Lutheran Church is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.