Fruit Of The Spirit: Joy

Joy sign

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

After setting the base of love, Paul mentions joy as the second fruit of the Spirit. Joyo is something that people sing about during the Christmas season–Joy to the World. Yet, joy is something that appears to escape or evade many people.

Walking around and looking at the faces of people, very few show any signs of any type of joy in their lives. Often all that is seen is hurt, pain, suffering, and depression, anything but joy.

Suffering man

What is joy?

Often people will think of joy as happiness, but it is much more. Throughout the bible joy is often mentioned.

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing (joy) in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7

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Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles, 16: 32-34 

Psalm 16_11

There are also many other verses that talk about joy. Joy is found in heaven and on this earth. We are to be filled with joy.

So what is joy? It is more than just happiness, it is extreme happiness. It is happiness in spite of what is going on around you. Being filled with God’s joy is being filled with His extreme happiness and pleasure.

You may now be asking how can I be filled with joy when this world is filled with such hate, destruction, pain and suffering. My life is full of hurt and pain. I am struggling to survive, so where can I find joy in all of this?

Elephan struggling

Joy can be found in the Lord and in the salvation that He provides. Take a moment to look at and read 1 Peter 1. After talking about salvation, Peter says that in all this you greatly rejoice, even though you may be going through many trials.

Think about how exciting salvation is. All of your sins have been removed forever! You get to live forever! You have a day that is coming in which there will never be any more sorrow, pain, suffering, sickness or death! Jesus is preparing a place for you in heaven so that you may be with Him and the Father for all eternity!

Man with joy

All of these things are wrapped up in salvation, what Jesus did for you on the cross. And one of the greatest things is that this salvation is free. All you have to do is accept it, deny self and follow Jesus. What better news could you ever receive than this?

While the world has no hope and is seeing only death and destruction, you can see life beginning and spreading around the world. God is a God who brings life to people, not death. He wants all to be successful in Jesus and building His kingdom. This is a great joy to have.

Along with what God is providing for you, you can also see when God moves in the hearts of other people and they begin to follow Jesus. All of heaven is rejoicing over the new salvation. You can also rejoice with great joy.

Now as a believer and follower of Jesus, you are filled with God’s Holy Spirit. You have His Holy Spirit living in you and guiding you. If you have His Holy spirit living in you, then there should be some sign of His presence in your life. This is where the fruit of the Spirit comes in.

Cluster of grapes

You should be bearing fruit as to what is inside of you. Your life should be one that is bearing and showing love (self-sacrificing love) and joy. Do not be like many in the church walking around with a serious frown on their face and no joy in life at all.

Allow joy to overflow in your life so much that those around you cannot help but see it and get a taste of it in their own lives. Live in the positive mindset that God has saved you, given you a new life and He is in control. This will show joy to this world.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this. Next week I will be looking at the fruit of the Spirit–peace. Until then, may your life be filled with God’s love and joy.

Psalm 45:7 One Way To Receive Joy

Boy at crossroad

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Psalm 45:7 

Having joy in one’s life is something that people all over the world are seeking for in their own lives. People want to be happy and be full of joy throughout each of their days.

However, very few find it because of the struggles and challenges in life from day to day. As they seek to find joy, they search to doing or taking different things. They feel as if they could have joy if they just have or do this one thing or take this one drug.

While the joy will come for a moment when doing or taking something, often it is temporary and not very deep. What is done often has long term negative consequences, because they are rooted in sin and death, rather than in life.

The writer of this psalm is talking about the king being anointed with the oil of joy by God. The reason the king was anointed with joy was that he loved righteousness and hated wickedness.

Very simply put, righteousness is doing the right thing and wickedness is doing the wrong thing.

Doing what God wants of a person is always doing the right thing. It is not about legalism and do’s and don’ts, but about loving God and living the way He meant a person to live.

Living for sin and wickedness will only bring about death and destruction. There is no lasting joy in those things. Doing what is right brings life and will last for eternity.

Each person has a chose to make. Will he do what is right and love God and people? Or will he choose what is wrong and love sin and this world?

You have choices to make in your own life each day. It is possible for you to be filled with God’s joy in your life every day.

The way to find that joy is to learn to love God with all of your heart, soul and mind. When you truly love God, you will want to do what is right in His eyes. You will also want to turn away from all wickedness and sin.

As you follow God with all of your life, God will anoint you with His joy that the world cannot understand, nor have.

Are you anointed with joy today?

I pray today that you will love God with all of your life; that you will want to do what is right in God’s eyes; that God will guide you in living your life in the right way; and that God will anoint you with His joy each day. 

The Joy Project

Title: The Joy Project: A True Story of Inescapable Happiness
Author: Tony Reinke
Date: 2015
Publisher: Desiring God
Pages: 122

The author of this book looks at how people are always looking for joy. They try to find joy in many ways. Some people find joy in position, family, friends, job, money, things, or even drugs or sex. The list goes on forever in where people try to find joy.

He looks at the idea that God is the author of joy. He places inexpressible joy in the hearts of those who follow Him. God had created the earth for man to rule over and enjoy. God also has a plan that has been put in place for each and every believer since the beginning of creation. That plan is to have fellowship with Him and to enjoy life with Him.

Mankind in his selfishness has looked for joy and purpose in his own ways rather than looking to God. If every believer was to find his purpose and satisfaction in Jesus alone, he would also have the ultimate joy.

The author uses the word TULIP to describe this. T=total depravity, U=unconditional election, L=limited atonement, I=irresistible grace, P=perseverance of the saints. Each of these topics are looked at individually that bring about joy in the life of a believer.

It will make you examine your life and what you really look for when seeking joy. If you are looking for joy in the things of this world, you will always be seeking and joy will always seem to be just out of reach.

If you are looking for joy in Jesus, you will find it. You will find satisfaction in Jesus and His purpose for your life. When you have this satisfaction, you will also have joy that cannot be explained by the world.

The one thing that I do not care for a lot is that the author strongly pushes Calvinistic and Puritan beliefs. All the way through the book he quotes Calvin and Puritan authors.

I do recommend this book for you to read. As you read it ask God to open your heart up to what joy He has available for you. Find the joy in God that you have always been seeking for.