But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Joy in the World
The fruit of the Spirit is Joy. The word joy means to delight. What do you find joy in or delight yourself with? When I was a child all I wanted was a new bike. All my friends had bikes and I was the only kid on the block without one. I would dream about getting a new bike and riding around with my friends. Finally one day my parents bought me a new bike. I was so excited I could hardly wait to take it for a spin. I road my bike all around town, taking it over ramps and down every flight of stairs I could find. Over time I would ride my bike less and less and eventually it stayed in the garage and collected dust. It might not be a new bike but we all find joy in certain things, but eventually the joy fades and we want something else.
The problem is we are delighting ourselves in things that are temporal. This is why the Bible says, “set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). When we focus on God and eternity it changes what is most important in our lives. When Christ is the center of your life and the most important you will find a joy that is never ending.
Joy in Circumstances
What do you do when the world is crashing in around you and everything seems lost. How can you possibly have joy? Many times our circumstances determine the outcome of our joy. It is easy to have joy when life is good, but what about when life seems so bad? How can I have joy? When Jesus sent out the disciples they went everywhere casting out demons and when they returned they said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name! And Jesus said to them…do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20) Why did Jesus say not to rejoice that the demons are subject to us? He said this because he knew that one day the demons would not be subject to them. Have you ever prayed for someone to get healed and they died? Have you ever prayed for that new promotion at work only to get demoted or fired. This is why Jesus said “rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” No matter what you face in life and how hard things get, you can always find joy knowing that one day you will be in heaven with Jesus where there will be no more pain and no more sorrow. We don’t always know why bad things happen to us or to others, but we can have a joy knowing that our names are written in the Lambs book of Life.
Joy in the Lord
Nehemiah said, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) When you are down and have no strength to carry on take delight in the Lord! I have found when I start my day off on my knees praying to God and reading His word, there is a joy and peace that carries me through each day. Not only will your find strength when you delight yourself in the Lord, but God will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When we grumble and find ourselves being negative we rob ourselves of joy! Take joy, and delight yourself in God and you might just find out that your troubles are not so bad. Feed the joy not the unhappiness and your walk with the Spirit will deepen more each day.