Galatians 5:22 Says “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
This week let’s talk about JOY.
Joy is an interesting fruit, because it is more of something we feel and less of something we do. That being said, joy is different than happiness. The two are similar and often confused with each other, but they are not true synonyms. Happiness occurs because of circumstances. Joy occurs, in spite of circumstance. Both are beneficial but serve different purposes.
Happiness is fleeting and in the moment. It’s something that our human minds strive to possess. However, it’s just that, human. James says that we are mists, here today and gone tomorrow. (James 4:14) As people we crave happiness, but we cannot hold onto it forever, because we’re not forever. Situations are not permanent and people will let us down. We will certainly let ourselves down. Happiness will never last.
Joy is completely different. Joy is permanent and eternal. It is something that our eternal spirits crave. We too often forget that we are spirits first. When you enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ, your spirit is able to feel the true joy of a daily walk with God and the greater joy of an eternity with Him.
Knowing this about joy is all well and good, but when life gets really hard and you really cannot see even a glimmer of a future full of hope and joy and peace… you begin to doubt God’s plan for you. You even begin to doubt His love. Jesus, Himself knows this feeling. From the cross He asked God “why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Of course, He could have saved Himself, but He didn’t. He knew what He was doing. Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection would insure that His people would live with Him forever. An eternity with His children was worth His own death.
I am a worrier and a planner and a person that always feels the need to know what’s next. This often robs me of my joy, even worse, I am robbed of the hope for the future I was promised. (Jeremiah 29:11) I am blinded by worry about my future as a mortal, so I must remember that my future won’t be spent here on earth. I will have an eternity with the One who suffered the cruelty of the cross, because He knew the joy that was coming when I enter eternity with Him. (Hebrews 12:2) Knowing this gives me great joy.