“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” If joy is a fruit of the Spirit, what do we already know about joy? (If we have the Spirit, we can have joy, no matter what.) Remember that after we believe and trust in Jesus Christ, He gives us the Holy Spirit, who lives within us. It is the Spirit who produces this fruit in us as we abide in Him.
Where can we look to discover what joy truly is? God’s Word! There are many verses that talk about joy in the Bible. Since His Word is our truth, it is the first place we should turn to learn more about this fruit of the Spirit.
Read: Psalm 43:4
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
What can we discover about joy from this verse? (God is our joy!). Not only did the psalmist say that God is his joy, but his exceeding joy, joy that goes above and beyond even regular joy!
Read: Psalm 119:111
“Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.”
The psalmist is talking about God’s Word. He is saying that God’s Word is his forever, and it is joy of his heart. Why do you think God’s Word is the joy of his heart? As we read God’s Word, we discover more and more of who He is. We learn about His promises to us and all that He has done. We can experience joy when we read and know God’s Word, just like the writer of this psalm!
We know that we can have joy through the Holy Spirit producing His fruit within us. We also know that God is our joy and that we experience joy through His Word. James tells believers to consider it joy when they go through difficult times in their lives. How is it possible to have joy, to praise God, in difficult times?
Joy is very different from happiness. Happiness cannot be present when someone is sad. But joy can always be present, even at the same time as sadness.
Now let’s look at another verse to find out how joy can be present at the same time as sadness!
Read: Proverbs 10:28
“The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked brings will perish.”
If we are Christians, we have something the rest of the world does not: the hope of eternal life with God. After we die, we know we will live forever with God. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more sorrow. When we understand that we have this to look forward to, it gives us joy! We know that the hard times we experience on earth will not last forever because of Christ. Knowing this truth allows us to have joy even in the midst of sadness and sorrow.
So we can experience joy when we know God. He is our joy, and the more we know Him, the greater our joy becomes. We can experience joy when we read God’s Word. In His Word we discover His truth, His promise, and who He is. We can experience joy when we remember how much Christ suffered for us and how He is worth suffering for now. And we can experience joy when we remember the hope we have of spending all of eternity with God without suffering or sadness. However, if we are not abiding in God (coming to know Him more each day and living for Him), we cannot expect to have the fruit of joy produced within us. It would be like taking away the water and sunlight from a fruit tree. The fruit will die and no more will be able to grow.
If we are abiding in Christ, we will have the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and we can say, “I am going through suffering, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:18, ESV). This is our memory verse for this week, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Let’s work together to memorize this verse!
Dear God, Thank you for for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and the joy we are able to have because He lives within us. Amen