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, ESV).
When considering all the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians, joy is the one that I really want to experience.
If I have joy, I will love better, be at peace, have patience in difficulty, and be kind and good in all my relationships while being faithful and gentle with my actions. And it’s easy to have self-control when motivated by joy.
There is a reason that joy is the base of all the fruit of God’s Spirit. The Greek word for “joy” has the same root as the Greek word for “grace.” Without God’s grace, we can’t experience joy or the other fruit of the Spirit.
Let’s try joy this week. How?
With joy, we can’t get up in the morning and say, “I’m going to have more joy today.” But we can consider it all joy when we encounter trials and determine to say, “I’m rejoicing in this difficulty.”
As James says . . .
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds (James 1:2).
And the Apostle Paul encourages . . .
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4).
Grace enters our doubt, discouragement, and pain when we praise Him. We proclaim God’s goodness and not our current experiences. God responds to our faith by giving us joy supernaturally.
What’s bothering you now? Is it a frustrating relationship, sickness, financial need, or a lack of wisdom? Now say, “I rejoice in this. God will help me!”
When the Israelites returned from captivity in Babylon to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem while being threatened and taunted by their enemies, Nehemiah taught them . . .
Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Joy is our strength today, too.
Luke describes the last days as one of fear and terror . . .
People fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world (Luke 21:26).
Why will people faint with fear? Not that the Lord isn’t stronger than their opposition, but they forsake God, who is the source of joy. Without joy, their strength evaporates to foreboding.
Do you have joy?
To retrieve joy, positive thinking won’t work — as joy is supernatural.
So, we turn to Jesus. Being filled with the Spirit, we rejoice in all things, knowing our victory has been won on the cross.
Have a joyful week!