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.
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
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
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?
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!
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.
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.