The Fruit of the Spirit
By Matt Ferreira
‘The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (Galatians 5:22-23)
The Fruit of the Spirit is a biblical word that summarises the nine characteristics of a person who lives with the Holy Spirit. This week we are looking at joy.
As Christians, we can be assured that we can experience deep and enduring joy. Let’s first look at the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is an emotion that depends on something good happening. God wants us to be happy, but His greater desire is that we have unconditional joy. This joy comes from a close relationship with God, the One who is pure joy. Jesus said: “I am the Vine, you are the beaches, He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit” (John 15:5), and that fruit includes joy! Think of joy as a strong foundation that supports a variety of healthy emotions, including happiness. The long-term evidence of joy is gratitude, contentment, optimism and freedom.
God is joyful! It is a sad misunderstanding when people think of God as strict and stern rather than cheerful and smiling. He enjoys His creation, and He delights in His sons and daughters. Since God is exceedingly joyful, we should also be. Even in difficult times, God’s joy continues to flow through us because of the solid hope we have in Him. Our unique joy begins when Christ lives in us and we walk closely with Him.
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.