Welcome to Day 5 of our 3M Fast. Today, we will continue our Devotional on the Fruit of Joy, as seen 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
The Greek word for “grace” is “charis.” A common definition is “the unmerited favor of God.” Mounce’s Expository Dictionary defines “grace” as “the acceptance of and goodness toward those who cannot earn or do not deserve such gain.” When you look at the Greek words for joy (chara) and grace (charis) you immediately see a connection. Both words speak of a gift from God! Grace is the foundation for joy and joy is wrapped up in grace. Joy cannot be produced through effort. The source is beyond us. If we try to seek for joy, we will become “thrill junkies” who can never attain lasting joy. Jesus said to his followers, “If a man remains in me and I in Him, He will bear much fruit.” Then just a few verses later, Jesus continues in verse 11 with, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
The Bible teaches that our relationship with Christ is a source of joy. Some people seem to float rather aimlessly through life. When there is no meaning or purpose for life, people often search for outside stimuli to give them temporary joy. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God spoke to His children to declare in Jeremiah 29:11,
“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We can have joy even when facing difficult situations, knowing that it is not a promise to immediately rescue us from hardship or suffering, but rather a promise that God has a plan for our lives and regardless of our current situation, we can still have joy.
In addition to us knowing that the source of our joy is being in relationship with God, I need to caution you not to think or ascribe to the mindset that you can do life by yourself and that you do not need anyone else. The scriptures teach in Hebrews chapter 10, verse 24-25, that there is a valuable element of joy that’s added to our lives through our relationship with other followers of Christ. Verse 24 – “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. 25Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Allow me to insert a word of caution here. In life, there are people who are “joy fillers” and others who are “joy killers.” Be careful to choose as much as possible, persons who are “joy fillers” and not “joy killers.”
What are some of the ways a relationship with Christ can add joy to your life? Who has God put into your life that is a “joy filler?” Write them a note and thank them for the joy they have added to your life. May you discover the joy that comes from the grace of God.