Fruits of Spirit: Joy Is
Today, we’re continuing our look at the fruits of the Spirit with joy (you can read about love here).
In reflecting the last few weeks about joy, I kept coming back to the same phrase: joy is. You see, joy is beyond description. I couldn’t come up with my own words to describe it. I read articles and sermons, but everyone seemed to stay away from actually defining joy.
If love does, then I guess joy is.
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” –1 Peter 1:8-9
Where does joy come from?
Joy is from the Holy Spirit. When we repented and were baptized, the Holy Spirit became a part of us. From that first day, the Holy Spirit has been working to develop these nine gifts within us, joy included.
Joy is not an earthly emotion. We do not have to rely on earthly events to feel joy. In fact, we shouldn’t! Things on earth that make us happy only bring us a finite, temporary joy. It’s the joy from the Holy Spirit that has no end.
What joy does the Holy Spirit bring us?
Right now, He brings us the joy of knowing that we belong to God. We have the joy of fellowship with fellow believers. We also have a future joy: the joy of heaven. It’s the same joy that Jesus was thinking of when He went to the cross to die for our sins.
What if I don’t always feel joy?
That’s ok. Charles Spurgeon said, “You may not at this moment be conscious of joy. Trees are not always bearing fruit, and yet their substance is in them when they lose their leaves.” Just because you cannot feel it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. It is also possible to feel joy and sorrow at the same time. Obviously, when my dad died I was absolutely devastated. But I knew that even if I could, I would not bring him back from heaven. It brought me some joy amidst my tears that he was in such a wonderful place.
So let’s work during the next few weeks to further grow the fruit of joy in our lives.
Develop It: Our faith allows the Holy Spirit to grow our joy. Increase your love for God by spending time more time with Him. Make it a purposeful goal to read and meditate on scripture.
“Joy is diminished, also, by walking a distance from God. If you get away from the fire, you will grow cold. The warmest place is right in front of it, and the warmest place for a believing heart is close to Christ in daily fellowship with Him.” – Charles Spurgeon
Practice It: A grateful heart is a joyful heart. Every day think of ten things you are thankful for. You might even think about starting a gratitude journal to keep track of your blessings.
Hide It: I chose the verse below because it reminds us of where our joy comes from and where it ultimately lies.
“For the joy set before Him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2
How do you cultivate joy in your life?
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