The Fruit of the Spirit—Joy
We continue our discussion of the Fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23] with the second attribute in the list: Joy.
John 16:20, 22. Verily, verily I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
Joy is to be a mark of the Christian life. We are not to be grumblers. In all things we should learn to rejoice. The basic reason for our joy is our relationship with God, for we know that the redemption we have in Christ is never threatened by the loss of a loved one, the loss of possessions, the loss of a job, or the loss of anything else. We might suffer all kinds of painful setbacks and afflictions, but those things should not rob us of the foundational joy we have in Christ. We can rejoice in all things because everything else is insignificant compared to the wonderful relationship we enjoy with our heavenly Father through the work of Christ on our behalf. But this joy has to be cultivated. The more we understand our relationship with God, the more we will understand His promises in our lives, and the greater the joy we will experience.
Joy is not dependent on circumstances.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto our God.
Joy is possible when we feel secure in the Lord.
There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, life thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makes me dwell in safety.
Joy comes when we have clear direction.
Thou wilt show me the path of lie: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
Joy comes when we live in the God’s presence.
His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance. For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.
Joy comes when we spend our life praising God.
O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.
Joy comes when our hearts are directed toward God.
Ps. 119: 110-112
The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statues always, even unto the end.
Joy comes when we praise what God has already done.
Then was or mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Let us bless God for the eyes with which we behold the sun, for the health and strength to walk abroad, for the bread we eat, for the raiment we wear. Let us praise Him that we are not cast out among the hopeless, or confined among the guilty; let us thank Him for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts; let us praise Him, in fact, for everything which we receive from His bounteous hand, for we deserve little, and yet are most plenteously endowed.
The sweetest and the loudest note in our songs of praise should be of redeeming love. We have been redeemed from the power of our corruptions, uplifted from the depth of sin in which we were naturally plunged. We have been led to the cross of Christ,–our shackles of guilt have been broken off; we are no longer slaves, but children of the living God. ~ C.H. Spurgeon