Our guest blog series by Debra continues today with another fruit
Today’s fruit of the Spirit is JOY. God gave us so many Bible verses on joy, but we will only highlight some of them in this post.
My understanding of the word joy is a deeper feeling than just happiness. I equate happiness to a temporary emotion based on a temporary situation – something that puts a smile on my face or makes me laugh. I feel like the meaning of joy is much deeper than that. The joy that God gives us is not dependent on positive outward circumstances. In fact, some of the Bible verses say just the opposite. More on that later. True joy can only come from the Holy Spirit living in our hearts.
Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”
Psalm 66:1 “Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious!”
John 15:9-11 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
The first group of verses are easy for me to understand. Praising God. Singing of His glorious works. That definitely fills my heart with joy.
The second set of verses are encouraging and comforting. God is the source of our joy.
That third group of verses are much harder for me to understand and live out though. The ones that say to “consider it joy when I face trials” and “give thanks in all circumstances.” I don’t know about you, but I have been through some tough circumstances that I have had a difficult time thanking God in. Can’t say I was joyful in them at the time. 🙁
God wants us to give Him our burdens, our pain, our grieving, our doubts, our concerns. He wants us to trust Him in His sovereignty with ALL of our circumstances. He wants to give us a deep joy that can only come from Him. He wants us to praise Him for all He has done and for all He will continue to do. He wants to give us joy that will be evident to others no matter what we are going through. And when people ask us about this joy, we can share with them the source and how they can have it too.
I have a sweet “joy from God” story that I can only attribute to coming from Him at a time when I really needed it. He wants to give that joy to all of us, when we trust Him.
Our challenge is to not let any person or circumstance negatively affect our joy from the Lord.