Fruit of the Spirit: JOY
The second “fruit of the Spirit” that Paul mentions in Galatians 5, is joy.
Take a look around and you can see plenty of people who are grumps and gripers, negative about virtually everything that happens in life and busy complaining all the time. Such people just aren’t much fun to be around.
Joy is the evidence of the presence of God in your life. Happiness is based on external things, things that are happening around you. Genuine Joy that Jesus speaks about is different. Joy actually comes from something inside.
A perfect example of joy found in John 15. Jesus was in the upper room with his apostles. Soon he would be arrested. He would be tried and convicted of crimes he did not commit. They will put a crown of thorns on his head and mock him. They will slap him, and spit upon him, and whip him. Then his body will be nailed to a cross and he will die. Jesus knew what was coming and none of it was joyful news. And yet, on the last night of his life, facing the cross, Jesus talked about love and also joy.
Listen to what he said:
“I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
Jesus tells the disciples and us that when we are like branches attached to the vine. Jesus is the vine and we’re the branches. As long as we’re attached to him, then we’ll bear fruit, and we can expect to find JOY welling up within us.
Here are some basic things that we can do to abide in his love stay attached to him as the vine:
- Be regularly in worship to praise and give thanks to God
- Be intentional about developing your faith through reading the Bible, prayer, a small group with others
- Find concrete ways to be in service to others
- Practice being a generous giver
These are ways that the fruit of the spirit can grow and take root in our lives. The fruit of the Spirit includes a deep and lasting sense of joy in your life, not a heaviness or dreariness, but joy. That sounds awfully good to me.
Grace and peace,