Welcome to Day 4 of our 3M Fast. Today our Devotional will focus on the Fruit of Joy, as recorded in Galatians 5:22-23.
“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22 – 23
When we look at the life of Jesus Christ, it’s important to note that we see a lot of joy. At His birth, the angels proclaimed a message of “great joy.” The Magi, who had traveled a great distance to celebrate His birth, “rejoiced with exceeding great joy,” according to Matthew chapter 2 verse 10; “…they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” when they saw the star leading to His location. Luke says in chapter 10 verse 21 (NIV) that, Jesus lived life, “full of joy through the Holy Spirit.” And the Bible also declares that even Jesus’ suffering and death were done because of the “Joy that was set before Him.” Hebrews chapter 12 verse 2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
From the beginning to the end of Jesus’ life was full of joy! I believe that the life of every Believer ought to be marked with the same kind of joy that we see displayed in the life of Jesus. The joy displayed in us should be a magnet that will naturally attract others. A joyful people that make up a local congregation will always be a growing Body of Believers because people are drawn to joy. The Greek word translated for “joy” in our text is “chara.” The word “chara” denotes joy, happiness and gladness. While it can sometimes refer to feelings and can result from circumstances, for those who are followers of Christ, joy is continual because of our relationship with Christ. When Paul wrote his letter from prison to the Philippians, in the midst of personal suffering, he talks about his joy and instructs the believers to rejoice regardless of circumstances. Paul tells us in Philippians chapter 4 verse 4 to,
“Always be full of joy in The Lord. I say it again – rejoice.”
Joy is a belief of the heart. It’s an internal emotion that never changes regardless of the situation. When times get tough, I still have joy because I’m a child of God and my eternal life is secure. God will never leave or forsake me. I have the joy of the Lord. Whereas happiness can come and go, joy can abide internally because we have the Love of Christ. It does not change when times get tough. But as you have seen from the scriptures, joy comes from the Lord. How do we claim that joy as our own? It’s only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that you can have this kind of joy.
Take a moment and reflect on your own life and ask; what brings you joy in life? What takes away your joy? What changes will you make behaviorally as a believer to demonstrate a life full of joy as Jesus did? I believe that every Christian, every Believer should be marked with the same kind of Joy as Jesus!