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 70:4 Rejoicing While Waiting

Island cove bay

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” Psalm 70:4 

Waiting is something that most people do not like to do. Things cannot move fast enough for many people. They want things to be done quickly on their own time frame.

It does not matter how fast something is, it can be faster, or rather, it must be faster. The cashier is too slow, the computer is too slow, the traffic is too slow and much more. People are always complaining about how long something takes.

The level of complaint increases when what is slow is the provision of help in a time of need. During a crisis, nothing can move fast enough. Then people just complain.

David knew that there were people who were in need of God’s help and were waiting for His help in their lives. He encourages all that are waiting for God’s help to praise Him and remember that He is great.

While the world is waiting on physical things in this world, believers are also waiting on God. They are waiting on God to answer their many prayers. Some of those prayers are for desperate measures. Life is difficult and without God’s intervention it will be even worse.

Yet, as they pray, God does not seem to hear or do anything about the situation. Many believers then begin to complain, just as the world does. They get angry with God for not meeting their need, in their time.

The focus needs to shift and remember that God is GREAT. He knows the perfect time and the perfect action to deal with the situation in the believer’s life. One needs to wait for His provision, His salvation to arrive. While waiting one can praise God for who He is.

You are probably waiting for God to answer some prayers of your right now that you have been seeking an answer to for some time. Do not give up on those prayers. Continue to believe God will answer those prayer needs.

As you are praying and waiting, rejoice that God hears you. Praise God for all the prayers He has already answered in your life. Don’t lose hope in God and the salvation that He has promised, it will come at the right time.

Don’t forget that God is GREAT, even while you are waiting in desperation for an answer from Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s hand of provision; that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will rejoice in what God has already done for you; and that you will praise God while waiting for His answers. 

Psalm 13:5 Trust Unfailing Love

Red Roses

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5

Trusting in something is what most people do, however, what they trust in is different for most people. Some people trust in their government, while others will not trust them. Some trust their spouse, while others are not trusted. Many will trust in their jobs and retirement account, while many will not.

The challenge with most of the things that people trust in, is that those things can and will fail. They will fall short of what is expected at some point or another. A job can look real good and provide a good secure income for many years, but then suddenly fold and lose everything. Things and people will fail.

David starts out this psalm thinking that God has abandoned him as he cries out to Him. In this verse, David claims that regardless of God’s silence, he will trust in His unfailing love and rejoice in the salvation He provides.

In every believer’s life there are times when God appears to be silent, especially during a difficult challenge in life. If anything bad can happen, it seems to happen. Crying out to God feels like one is in a locked padded cell and no one can hear the cries.

At this point, this is where faith and trust in God comes in. One has to trust in His perfect unfailing love. There is only one thing in this universe that is truly eternal and that is God, and God is love. So, love is eternal. It will never fail. And God’s love is perfect.

God will never do anything that is not done in love. He will not allow anything in the life of a believer that is not allowed out of love. Knowing this, a believer can trust that God can hear him and will take care of him, no matter what the situation.

Going through your life, there will be times God seems to be silent. Rest in the fact that God is love and loves you with an eternal, undying love. His love for you is perfect. He will never do anything to harm you.

When this world throws ugly situations your way, focus on His perfect love.

When you cry out to God, and He does not appear to listen or hear you, remember He loves you.

Then rejoice in the salvation He is giving or going to give you. God loves you!

I pray today that you will know God’s perfect love; that you will know God’s provision; that you will trust God’s love for you; and that you will see God’s hand at work in your life. 

2 Samuel 1:12 Weeping Over Fallen Enemy

Man crying

They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 2 Samuel 1:12 

When an enemy falls, many people rejoice. They are glad to see that the enemy has fallen or been destroyed. Throughout history it is a common sight to see people rejoicing when a known enemy is killed or dies. They rejoice because now that person can no longer be a threat to them.

David’s greatest enemy was Saul, who was the king of Israel. Saul was set out to kill David at any cost. No matter where David would go, Saul tried to follow him with an army and destroy him. Later, when Saul was killed in a battle, David and his men wept and fasted in mourning for his death. David did not want to see King Saul killed. In fact, he killed the man who had chosen to kill King Saul.

While the world often rejoices at the death of an enemy, there have been many believers who have also rejoiced with them. They see the death as something very good.

Although the death of the enemy may mean the end of some suffering, it is also death of a person, a person who is lost for eternity. When a person dies without Christ, he is lost in his sins forever. There is no return. There are no more chances to become a believer.

Rejoicing over that death does not show God’s love or compassion at all. It shows the heart of the world, rejoicing over evil and being lost.

Every believer needs to have the heart of Jesus, who would weep over those who would do wrong to Him. God never rejoices over the destruction of an enemy. He sees each one as a lost child that can never return home.

Knowing and understanding the heart of God will strengthen you to show love to your enemies. Jesus said to love everyone, including the enemy. Rejoicing over their destruction or death is not showing His love, but the world’s hatred.

Allow God’s love for you and all people fill you up so that you may love everyone the same. When you see the destruction of an enemy, you will not rejoice, but weep, knowing how lost they are for all eternity.

Weep, don’t rejoice, over those who can never accept Jesus anymore.

I pray today that you will know God’s great love; that you will be filled with God’s love for all people; that your heart will break at the destruction of any person; and that your love will be a sign of God’s love to this world. 

Numbers 10:10 Make Your Rejoicing Heard

Trumpeters

Also at your times of rejoicing–your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts–you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God. Numbers 10:10

The world knows how to make their rejoicing about something good known to the rest of the world. Watch when their favorite football team wins the winning goal at a major game. The fans go crazy with shouting and jumping around. Social media is blown up with the news of what happened. It is no secret what happened or what is going on.

This not only happens with sports fans, but with many other major events in life. Great news is passed on very quickly with a loud noise.

God had told the Israelites that when they were rejoicing at one of the various set festivals, they were to blow the trumpets. The trumpet is a very loud sounding instrument that can be heard from a long ways off. This was done with not just one trumpet, but many trumpets, increasing the noise level.

The noise of the trumpets would be heard far from the campsite. The enemy would be able to hear it. The world would know that something is happening.

In the church, there are some people who are very quiet about the good things God is doing in their life. They do celebrate what God is doing, but under hushed tones, not broadcasting the good news.

This is often done out of fear of offending someone or disturbing someone else. They do not want to rock the boat at all.

Yet, the joy of what God is doing or has done should overwhelm a person to the point of wanting to tell the world about it. This news can be just a simple healing, to major touch or move from God.

When you are rejoicing over what God has done in your life, make some noise. Let others know what God has done and is doing. This can be an encouragement to other believers and it can be a witness to the world of who God is.

Do not let your rejoicing be done in secret only, under your breath. Blow the trumpet and let everyone know. God is lifted up by your praise. Do not be ashamed to rejoice out loud as you remember God’s work in your life.

I pray today that you will know what God has done for you; that you will rejoice in the Lord for His mighty works; that you will let the world know what God is doing; and that you will encourage others with what God has done.