Joy is important to Jesus. There are more than 70 New Testament references to Joy.
As the second fruit listed as a fruit of the Spirit, Joy is important to our walk with God.
At the Passover meal, Jesus shared with His disciples shortly before His crucifixion, the relationship He would have with His disciples if they would abide in Him and His love. He closed this section of His teaching by saying, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:11)
Jesus wanted his disciples to know the joy of fellowship with Him, joy to the fullest.
Next, we see that genuine joy-which is rooted in Christ- is an expression of godliness. You see joy is a sure sign of the presence of God in our lives. Put differently, our joy is the “joy of God passing through a Christian,” “a joy whose foundation is God.” Although joy is basic to godliness, it often seems to be missing from our lives despite the fact, as children of God, we have some great reasons to be joyful.
Reason#1 – Our joy is permanent. Because our joy is rooted in our all-loving and unchanging God, our joy is permanent. In John 16:22 Jesus says that “no one takes your joy away from you.” However, one thing that can rob us of the joy God provides is our failure to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) The Holy Spirit causes this fruit to grow in our lives as we abide in Christ and walk in obedience to His ways.
Reason#2 – Our joy is always available. Since it is rooted in our ever-present God, our Joy is always available. That’s why I can “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4) Whatever the circumstance in our life, we have ready access to the Source of true joy anytime we turn to Him.
Reason#3 – Our joy is in inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8) Joy in the Spirit is “joy beyond speech” Described as “a foretaste of the joy of heaven” Christian joy cannot be fully expressed or articulated. We can’t explain why we experience joy when nothing in our life suggest we should be joyful.
True spiritual joy is not happiness. Happiness is a “state of good fortune and prosperity related to and dependent on our circumstances.” Happiness is a false joy, and since easy circumstances are not life’s norm, happiness is elusive. God’s joy is a gift of grace to us as we encounter the hardship and tribulation and persecution of life in this world, and this supernatural joy, given through God’s Spirit, transcends all conditions of life.
Pause now, and Praise God that our joy:
- Is not dependent on circumstances, but on the spiritual realities of God’s goodness, His unconditional love for us, and His ultimate victory over sin and darkness
- Is not based on our efforts, accomplishments, or willpower, but rather on the truth about our relationship with the Father through the Son.
- Is not an emotion, but the result of choosing to look beyond what appears to be true in our life to what is true about our life in Christ.
Note: The above information is a study taken from the book, “A Woman’s Walk With God, Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit” by Elizabeth George