But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Spirit Fruit: Joy
There is a lot of sadness in the world. When Adam and Eve spent their first day outside the garden, they reflected on the gladness they had when they walked and communed with God. Sin blighted the happiness of the first couple, and now they stood alone in an uncertain world. They would find joy as they trusted in God and learned to devote their lives to Him. The struggle for humanity has always been how to answer the need for happiness. Sin presents an allurement of great pleasure as a means to obtain joy, but it never delivers on what it promises. The reason sin is so alluring is that it has a lot of joy and pleasure to it. It has an enticement that is irresistible with a promise of grandeur far beyond the norm. Sadly, what is sought for in the moment of pleasure is quickly lost. Sin never lasts.
Joy is the desire of every human being. How they find that joy is what makes a difference in their lives. Some seek after the works of the flesh to find joy. They seek pleasure in sexual immorality, impurity, and lustful pleasures, and while enjoying a temporary euphoria of gladness, it never lasts. Many lost souls live their lives with drunkenness and wild parties and find nothing at the end of the road but misery and heartache. Joy escapes them. Happiness is never found. Sadness fills the heart. Misery overshadows every part of their life. Death comes, and all hope is lost.
The fruit of the Spirit is joy because it comes from God, and it is eternal. Finding joy in the blessings of God brings gladness to the heart and promise to the soul. Life is a hard road to walk and can be filled with challenges that can overwhelm. Finding the joy of God does not take away the problems of life. Paul’s great letter of joy was written from a Roman prison cell. The book of the Bible that mentions joy more than any other is the prophet Isaiah. He lived in a time of great wickedness and turmoil, yet his message was joy and hope in God. Having the joy of the Spirit will not take cancer away, bring back a loved one, increase the bank statement or solve the world’s problems, but it changes the view. Joy brings a faith-lift to the broken heart and soothes the troubled soul.
Joy brings hope in the glory of God. It finds its worth in righteousness and the peace of God. Joy is the measure that helps the eye see the Lord, who, having not seen, is loved and worshipped with gladness. There is joy in the knowledge that sin has no dominion and that through the blood of Christ, sins are washed away. Worship is based on the joy of being a child of God addressing the Father with thanksgiving and love. Remembering the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on a Roman cross fills the heart with gladness. Singing with fellow saints fills the heart with joy. The fellowship of the body of Christ fuels the spirit of joy. Death is no longer feared when the fruit of the Spirit of joy faces the end of life with courage and hope.
Because of the joy awaiting Him, Jesus endured the cross, disregarding its shame. He faced His life and His death with the joy of the Father, and now He is seated at the right hand. Followers of Jesus will find that same joy, and when life becomes a heavy cross to disregard the pain of this world for the joys of eternal life. Joy on earth will end. Joy in Heaven will never end. Let joy reign in the heart. Joy.