Joy – Second Fruit of the Holy Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22).
Unspeakable joy, indeed, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Joy is the second of the nine fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). That is the nature of the Holy Spirit. A person who has the Spirit within him has the joy of the Holy Spirit. That is evidence of the presence of the Spirit in a person. God’s joy is an inner feeling of pleasure and joy that cannot be related to events or circumstances around you, but to the relationship that a person has with the Spirit. This is a guarantee of God’s presence with you, whatever the conditions. That’s what keeps you alive when the storm of life rages.
Sometimes, people are confused between joy in the Spirit and happiness. Happiness results from the attainment of what one considers suitable, but the joy of the Spirit results from an in-filling of the Holy Spirit. Happiness characterized by good luck or fortune. This means that when there is a misfortune, happiness disappears and misery sets in – it is momentary.
However, this is not the case with Christian joy; even when there is a misfortune, the person is still joyful. Indeed, the person acknowledges the mishap but is not moved or discouraged by it. Joy in the Spirit boosts one’s resilience.
The joy of the Spirit first secured by accepting the Lord Jesus as your savior. At salvation, you filled with the Holy Spirit, and you receive the joy of the Spirit, (Rom 5:11, Psalm 51:12). Subsequently, we are refilled repeatedly by dwelling in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11), in praise and worship (Psalm 22:3), in the study of the Word (Jer 15:16) and in having fellowship with brethren (Matt 18:20). When the Spirit has more control over you, you will experience more of the Christian joy. Dwelling in God’s presence makes you more conscious of God, of His power, love, nature, etc., and in the process, you are filled with His Spirit.
There is so much to benefit from being filled with the joy of the Spirit. One of which is that you are strengthened (Neh 8:10). At times, the road may be steep, rough, crooked, and the destination far; the joy of the Spirit enables you to overcome all odds and to reach your goal. Furthermore, Christian joy replaces mourning in one’s life (Isa 61:3). You are not grieving like those who have no hope. Also, joy in the Spirit ensures fruitfulness and abundance (Joel 1:12) because it is only with joy can you receive answers and directions from God (Isa 12:3).
In the scriptures, character examples have written down for us to follow and emulate. One example is Joseph, who had a dream where he was superior to his parents and siblings, but he had to go through slavery and prison before realizing his dream. The Christian Joy had enabled him to help the two employees of Pharaoh who had goals in jail and were sad because they could not interpret their dreams. Joseph’s willingness to interpret their dreams despite his situation led to his freedom and realization of his thought (Gen 40, 41).
God’s joy is the backbone of the conqueror. This is the characteristic of those who believe in God. God’s joy guarantees victory over life’s challenges. As fish cannot survive outside water, so also, a child of God cannot survive without joy: the fruit of the Spirit. It is available even now.
What else can you say about this joy?