This is the second post in the Fruit of the Spirit Study Series. If you missed the first post you can find it here. This study series has been such a blessing to me. Going through Scripture, there’s just so much to be learned and applied daily. God’s Spirit has really been dealing with me during this study. I hope that you don’t just read this post, but dig into the Scriptures. Now on to the fruit of Joy!
Joy – A deep abiding inner rejoicing promise to those who abide in Christ, a glorious and triumphant state. A fruit of the Spirit; characterized by gladness or delight.
The word “joy” is found in the King James Bible more than 165 times!
Joy is a choice. Joy is a byproduct of living life in the Spirit. It is an outgrowth of our faith and belief in Jesus Christ. We can choose to have joy that only comes from Jesus or we can choose to let the world and the devil beat us down. The devil wants our joy and in turn he gives us depression, oppression, misery, griping, complaining, moaning, anger, and self-pity. The more we try to go forward, the more the devil is going to pull us backwards!
Thankfully our joy is not found in the world or the circumstances in which we find/put ourselves! True joy rises above circumstances. Joy comes from a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ. When our lives are intertwined with His, He will help us walk through those hard times. Christ wants us to be joyful. The key to immeasurable joy is living in close contact with Jesus, HE IS OUR SOURCE OF JOY!
Benjamin Franklin wrote: “Joy is not in things! It is in us!”
“I WILL greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul SHALL be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” (Isaiah 61:10a)
Joy in the presence of God
“ For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy…” (Ecclesiastes 2:26a) Those who really know how to enjoy life are the ones who take life each day as a gift from God, thanking Him for it and serving Him in it.
The origin of joy is in the presence of God. Our true joy in Jesus proclaims the true joy of Jesus. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
In the presence of God, we not only find joy, but the FULLNESS of joy! God does not need our praise, but we need to praise God. By basking in His presence we drink in the joy of His infinite love and rejoice in the One who came to redeem and restore us.
God’s attention is on us, but we must keep our attention on Him to enjoy the fullness of His presence in our lives. We must invite God to be involved in everything we do, and then remember to praise Him for His goodness.
“O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” (Psalm 95:1-3)
The person who loves to spend time in God’s presence will view adverse circumstances as opportunities to experience God’s faithfulness and blessings. E. Leonard Small said, “Joy is the standard that flies on the battlements of the heart when the King is in residence.” Amen!
Joy in giving
“Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
This was a time to celebrate and to give gifts to those in need so that they got to celebrate as well. In giving we are serving God with cheerfulness and thankfulness, which is our duty, and this will give us that strength both of mind and body which we so greatly need.
“As every man purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly or out of compulsion; for God loveth the cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) God is more concerned with HOW we give than with WHAT we give. Our attitude in giving can determine whether blessings will follow or not. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10)
We have been created in the image of God therefore we are to reflect the very nature of God and what better example of giving than in Him giving His own Son! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Let the message of God’s love and salvation in Christ prompt you to rejoice again and sing praises today!
Joy in being in the house of God
“When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.” (Psalm 42:4)
“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.” (Psalm 84:1-4)
There’s nothing better than getting out of the world and into God’s house. Here we find joy, joy in praying, joy in singing, joy in teaching, joy in preaching, and joy in fellowship. This is also a great opportunity to get the joy of giving!
Joy in obedience
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:3-12)
The Sermon on the Mount is all about faithful obedience from the heart. It’s like a code of conduct, a challenge for us in our behavior. The beatitudes contrast what is eternal with what is temporary and they must be taken as a whole. We cannot pick and choose which ones we want to follow.
Each beatitude tells us how to be blessed and being “blessed” by God means we experience great hope and JOY!
Joy in the Lord is obedience, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4). “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” (Psalm 32:11)
joy in peace
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)
“Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.” Proverbs 12:20)
As John Piper says, “…there could be no true heart experience of Christian joy without the heart experience of Christian peace. And there could be no true heart experience of Christian peace without that being a heart experience of Christian joy.” Joy and peace are greatly entwined and peace just so happens to be the next fruit in our study series!
There’s just so much about joy in God’s Word, but for now I leave you with a quote from one of my all-time-favorite-people, Abraham Lincoln. He said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Be determined to be joyful, no matter what!”
Many Joyful Blessings!!
Oh! I am working on Scripture Cards for each of the Fruit of the Spirit. I should have them completed soon 🙂