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 126:6 Return With Joy

Man filled with joy

Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. Psalm 126:6 

All over the world there is often much sorrow. There is death, sickness, pain, suffering, poverty, violence and much more that takes the joy of life out of many people.

The struggles of life tear many people down, removing all joy and happiness. Some will strive to end it all because they no longer see any hope in life. They try and try to make things better, but seem to only find up failing and hurting worse. For many, in the end there does not seem to be any purpose or love left to hold on to.

The Israelite psalmist had seen Israel be crushed as a nation. There was a lot of weeping and sorrow, but now they were to go out sowing seed. God would restore them and bring back in a great harvest.

While this passage is talking about a physical harvest, it can also point to a spiritual harvest. Believers today are just like the rest of the world in that they see lots of death, sickness, pain, suffering and sorrow in their own lives and in the lives of others around them.

However, unlike the world, the believer has a hope to hold on to. Jesus has promised eternal life to those who believe in Him, thus they will have sorrow and weeping today, but songs of joy are coming.

The seed that the believer carries today is the gospel message of Jesus, the message of the salvation that He provides. As the believer is going out weeping over the sins of the world, he can carry the gospel seed to reach others for Jesus.

With much prayer and guidance of His Holy Spirit, that seed will go out and reach others for Jesus. Many will be saved. At that point, the believer will return with sheaves of new believers and songs of joy at God’s work in the lives of others.

As a believer, you have the seeds of the gospel with you. Weep over the sin and sorrow that you see around you, but carry those seeds to give to those who need it. Trust God to grow those seeds and to save many.

Reach many for Jesus, so that many lives will be saved and your joy will be great. For every one saved, there is great rejoicing in heaven, many songs of joy.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the joy of living for God; that you will be a witness of what Jesus has done; and that you will know the joy of many being saved by Jesus. 

Job 6:10 Refusing To Deny God’s Word

Old bible

Then I would still have this consolation–my joy in unrelenting pain–that I had not denied the words of the Holy One. Job 6:10 

Going through pain or suffering will often change a lot of people. It can change how they think and act. It is very common when a person is suffering from a bad headache, that they will act irrationally towards other people. They will get angry very easily and snap at others. They are not focused very well on their emotions.

Extreme pain or suffering will often cause people to be blinded to the truth. All they see and feel at the moment is pain and no hope. They forget the truth about life.

Job was going through extreme troubles, pain and suffering. He wanted God to take his life, so that he would die without denying God’s word. He was so focused on following God, that he would rather die than deny God and His word. God’s word showed hope and a future.

Sadly many people who go through extreme suffering often begin to deny God’s word. They forget that God loves them no matter what they are going through. They forget that God is with them in the suffering. They forget that in the end they will have eternal life with God in heaven.

All of this forgetting is because they are focused on the pain, rather than on God and His word. In the process of forgetting God’s word, they deny it. They deny the power of God’s word in their lives. Usually they feel as if God has abandoned them, though His word says He will never leave or forsake them.

Believers need to stand firmly upon God’s word in their lives. They need to trust that God’s word is true, regardless of what is going on around them or in their lives.

During times that you will or are going through difficult times in your life, stay focused on what God’s word says. Refuse to deny what He has said about you and to you.

You are His child and He loves you. Nothing you can say, do, or go through will change that. He also has a place reserved for you in heaven if you do not give up and deny His words.

As you are suffering, turn towards God in prayer and in worship. Know that despite what is happening, He has your best interest in mind. Don’t deny God.

I pray today that you will know God’s love towards you; that you will trust God’s words to you; that you will not deny God or His words in your life; and that God will give you strength through all difficult times. 

Job 3:11 Wanting To Die

Suffering pain

“Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? Job 3:11 

Suffering pain and trouble is one thing that most people do not want to have to go through. People will go to great lengths to avoid any type of pain or suffering. Billions of dollars every year are spent on medicines to alleviate pain caused by sickness, injury or just natural parts of life.

There are many who, when things go bad and they are suffering greatly, curse the day they were born. They wish that they had never been born. It is common for many to begin to think about suicide is the way out. Some will go through with it. All they can see is suffering and pain with no hope of anything different.

With all of his loss, Job began to feel that way. He began to curse the day he was born. He began to question why he was born, just to go through tremendous suffering and pain.

Although Job never blames or curses God, he begins to share his heart with God. Questioning why things were happening as they were.

Times have not changed since Job. People still go through great suffering. Not just people in this world who don’t believe in God, but believers will also go through times of pain and suffering and loss. Homes will be lost, lives will be lost, health will be lost, and more will be lost.

Believers will have questions about what is going on and why. But they should never curse God or give up on God. There is still hope.

You will have times of great trouble, pain and suffering. The amount you must go through and what you will go through will be different each time, and often different than what others are going through, but it will still be difficult.

As you are going through a trial in this life, remember that God is still with you, loves you and will never leave you. God is also still in control of everything that is happening in your life and there is a purpose for it.

Do not give up on God or life. There will come an end to the suffering and pain.

God brought you into this world for a purpose, to have fellowship with Him and be His witness to this world. This can be done through the good and bad times. Hold on to God for strength and comfort in your suffering.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will trust God’s control; that you will lean on God for strength; that you will know God’s love for you; and that God will give you strength through the suffering.