Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Joy is the second fruit of the spirit. True joy comes from God- he is our source of joy. We find our joy in Him as a result of his grace for us. We trust in Him. Does that sound like joy you are familiar with? That kind of joy does not depend on our circumstances. We ALWAYS have God’s grace when we are his children. We tend to think of joy as happiness and liking what is going on with us, but this is “artificial fruit”. Happiness is not bad, but it is temporary and depends on circumstances.

We don’t need to confuse the feeling of happiness with true joy. God doesn’t promise his children the best circumstances and happiness in this world. We can enjoy our circumstances, but don’t need to put our hope in them. He promises never to leave or forsake us, and we can be secure in our salvation. Psalm 4:7 compares true joy with joy from happiness and circumstances- true joy is greater, and from God. So if you have true joy should you “feel” happy all of the time? True joy is not a feeling that comes and goes – think of it as abiding in God’s truth and understanding it in your life. Your circumstances can’t take that away!

Sin can get in the way of joy. David knew about this when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. Psalm 51 is his response to this sin and asking God for forgiveness. In verse 12 he asks God to “restore to me the JOY of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit”.

Remember, we cannot bear fruit apart from God. This sorrow that David had over his sin is an example of Godly sorrow- it is related to Joy. Think- if you don’t have much to be forgiven from, do you take much joy in your forgiveness? But if you recognize that you have a LOT to be forgiven from, then your joy is much greater.

That doesn’t mean we SHOULD sin, but we can take great joy in our forgiveness from sin. This is different from worldly sorrow which is the “weed”. Worldly sorrow often includes a blow to your ego. Remember, things of this world pass away, and are not the most important things. Your relationship with God is eternal, and He always loves you. Find your joy in Him!

Do you have joy?

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