Fruit of the Spirit – Joy

Today we are continuing to look at the Fruit of the Spirit, as found in Galatians 5: 22-26:

22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

Today we see the first of the Fruit of the Spirit – joy.  Joy is a word that we see a lot and think about a lot, but it is one that is often misunderstood.  Joy is often mistaken for happiness.  Let’s explain the difference today. 

Happiness is often best understood as a, good, response to circumstances.  We are happy because something good has happened. We receive a promotion. We get a good parking space. We have something nice happen for our family. 

Something good has happened and our natural, and good, response to that circumstance is happiness.

Joy is something different, and it’s something a little deeper.  I don’t what this to sound as though happiness is a bad thing, for it is not. But happiness is a response to something external.  Joy is an overflowing of something that is internal. 

I think you can see there, one of the main differences.  Happiness is a response to something external; joy is an overflowing of something internal.  External and internal.  

Happiness comes from circumstances.  Joy comes from the spirit.  Happiness comes when something good happens.  Joy comes from the power of the Holy Spirit working within us.  So, we are happy in good circumstances. 

We can be joyful in any circumstance.  Because joy does not need a good thing to happen for us to have it.  Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, produced within us because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, producing His fruit.  So, we can have joy, even in death. We can have joy, even in suffering.  In sickness.  In pain.  In any circumstance. Because our joy is not found in what is happening to us. Our joy comes from what is happening in us.  

Today, no matter what your circumstance is, you can have joy. Because you have the Holy Spirit within you.  You are loved by an amazing God. You are saved by His great love.  You know His grace. You know God!  He is with you!  You are forgiven!  You are loved! 

That’s something to get excited about.  That’s something to have joy about!  The goodness of God. We are blessed because of God’s Spirit. And we can have joy. No matter what. 

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