Topic: Joy Scripture: Romans 14:17
What is it? Some say joy is synonymous with happiness. But is it?
As I sit on my bed with my wife and daughter, looking at the wonder of our four week old foster daughter, my heart is glad because of the love that surrounds her, shown through my wife and children. We are doing what we can for her future and this little eight pound person brings great gladness into our home.
When Paul states that the fruit of the Spirit islove and joyit is the joy that is a byproduct of the love. One commentator notes that you could actually interpret Galatians 5:22-23 as“But the fruit of the Spirit is love: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. It would be equally correct to place acolonafter love and what follows are descriptors of the love that dwells within those who have been born again and have the Spirit of Christ in them.
Joy may be described as “a state of gladness, great happiness” and is clearly seen in Matthew when the women left the tomb "afraid yet filled with joy” at the promise of the risen Savior Jesus.
We, as believers may experience this great happiness in the context of our biological family but most certainly should with our spiritual family that we will spend eternity with. We are now with God andwith hopein the world (Ephesians 2:12 ). Such gladness ought to be ours as we reflect on the future hope that is ours. “I will bring those to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.” (Isaiah 56:7).
“The Old Testament has no embarrassment about celebrating the good gifts of God. Whatever God gives is to be received with thanksgiving and joy.” CH Wright said in his book Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit. The people of Israel and we in the Church age are commanded to rejoice and be joyful.
Just as we find and know joy through the hope we have in Christ, our joy or gladness can also unravel if we forget or do not take time to pause and reflect on the true reality of the gospel hope. We loose the joy of Christ when we are saturated with the world more than of Him. Being saturated with the envy and discontent of the world will steal our joy and blind us to the reality of the Spirit of Christ in us.
May the Fruit of Christ in us be marked by His Spirit of love marked by joy.