Today, we are looking at the second thing listed within the fruits of the Spirit, and it is easy to forget that God lists things intentionally. Therefore, joy is something that should be evident within a Christian’s life – but what is joy?
We need to understand that even the greatest of us experience periods within our lives regarding joylessness. For instance, within the Bible, Job wished that he had never been born (Job 3:11), and Elijah fled to the desert and asked God to take his life (1 Kings 19:3-5).
God has never said that we cannot be honest with Him regarding our emotions, and actually, it is essential that we even take note of our feelings and release how we genuinely feel to God. I used to think that I couldn’t be “honest” with God, and therefore, I would pray – or try – to speak what I thought God wanted to hear, rather than sharing my heart.
Yet, Psalms 3/13/18 and 43 show us that God is ok with us being real or raw with our anger and frustrations, but what He then desires is for us to let go of all these things, “put them at the cross”, and release them by remembering who God is, and being at peace with that – from this, God pours of His joy in our lives.
I know I certainly forget that joy is a gift from God (the Greek word is “chara”), but this is closely associated with the Greek word “charis”, which means “grace”. Therefore, joy is not only a gift, but it comes from God’s grace for our lives, and that is what happens when we give all of our pain and suffering to the Lord
Joy comes when we choose to focus on Who God is, rather than our circumstances. We only need to look at the book of Philippians to understand this, as Paul wrote this epistle whilst in Prison. Paul shows us that we experience joy when we intentionally praise God (Philippians 4:4-8)
Friends, ultimately, joy sets us apart from others because God’s joy comes from within. It is the fruit or the identity of again the Holy Spirit walking with us, and therefore, today, I encourage us to accept this gift from God, lay down our burdens to Him, and focus on God’s truths for our lives
Categories: Fruits of the Spirit