By Sherry Myers
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Last month we began our study on the fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. We explored the word and meaning of “love” in depth and this month we will explore the fruit of “joy.”
Some people confuse the word joy with happiness, but joy comes from our relationship with the Lord and happiness is based on things outside of that. The word Joy in this verse comes from the Greek word Chara meaning, gladness. It’s easy to feel gladness when everything is going well in our lives, but the scripture talks about joy amidst strife. We all have navigated various difficulties in life. No one can honestly say they’ve had no problems in school, no discouragement throughout their upbringing, that they’ve always felt loved by everyone, or that they’ve never experienced discipline because they’ve managed to elude trouble, debt, physical ailment or heartache.
So, how can we have joy in the midst of pain and grief? Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to, “…fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus is our example. He endured the cross and did not lose his joy. Why? Because he kept his eyes on his Father. He did not look at his circumstances, but ahead to his future, sitting at the right hand side of God.
To the right of the cross was the right hand seat at the throne. To the right of our suffering is joy. To the right side of tears is also joy. Remember Psalm 126:5, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Sorrow may be a circumstance, but it does not have to take away or overshadow our joy. We must make the conscious decision to look to the heavens – not to focus wholly on the problem where there is no hope. Our help comes from above.
We are guaranteed there will be heartache in this world. It’s what we do with it, our reaction and attitude that will count in the end. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Take a step forward and let go of what’s hurting your heart. Your Daddy loves you, has been there from the start, and knows the end from the beginning. There is joy to be found in His promises!