Thank you for joining us again for part 2 in the “Fruits of The Spirit Series”. If this is your first post that you’re reading in this series, I highly encourage you to please read part one, where we take a deep dive into the first of the fruits of the Spirit which is, love.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the second fruit of the Spirit called, Joy. I’ll be sharing with you what I learned about this topic, things like: the differences between joy and happiness, what the bible considers to be true joy, what the key is to experiencing it, how do we go about receiving it, and three occurrences of this kind of joy being experienced from scenes in the bible.
As always, I pray that this post becomes a blessing in your life and that you share this post with those who you feel would also be blessed by reading through the contents of this post.
May God bless you and your family and let’s not waste anymore time, let’s dig into the word of God!
Joy vs Happiness
You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.Psalm 4:7 NLT
While I was reading the word and putting together this post, I was surprised to learn what the actual differences were between joy and happiness.
As it turns out, happiness is more of a temporary form of feeling satisfied due to a feel-good moment. Since the keyword here is, “temporary”, it should not be relied upon to carry us through challenging moments in our lives.
When it comes to joy, this comes about by having a real deep relationship with God. If you haven’t read my post titled, “3 Powerful Bible Verses About Faith“, I suggest you do, as I share with you what I learned, about trusting God.
Since life is totally unpredictable, so are our feelings. One moment we are feeling great and want to tell the world about Jesus, and the next moment something can happen that can rob us of that moment of bliss.
This is why it’s very important to have a rock-solid foundation of faith in Jesus so that when these moments of despair come, our faith will not be shaken because we have developed such a strong trust in the Lord, that we know He will see us through to the end.
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.Psalm 16:8-9 NLT
My body rests in safety.
What’s amazing about this verse is how it perfectly illustrates what we just discussed. It describes such a great amount of trust in God, so much so that David, the one who wrote this Psalm, knows that God is always with him.
If you can develop your faith to the point that you truly understand and believe that God is always with you, then you won’t be easily shaken when tough times come.
You won’t worry about how your bills will get paid, when your next meal will come, because you know that God will take care of you.
Now, I get it. This is a lot easier said than done. Times of hardship are when our faith gets tested, and it exposes any areas of weakness that we may have in our faith.
That is why we must consider these moments as blessings because it can help us improve in those weak areas and thus resulting in stronger faith.
What True Joy Is
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.
Matthew 5:3-12 NLT
Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
The passage above is the world famous, “Beatitudes”. Basically, Jesus is explaining how someone can be blessed by God. This particular section of my study was very enlightening for me because I learned what it means to be blessed.
Simply, it’s experiencing joy and hope in your spirit no matter what is happening around you. This happens when someone decides that no matter what happens, they’re going to follow and serve Christ to the very end.
What’s also very interesting about the above passage, is it explains how someone who believes in and follows Jesus, will be blessed in the midst of their struggle.
So, it’s pretty obvious that a follower of Jesus Christ WILL experience trials and tribulations here on earth. However, Jesus promises the believer that in the midst of their struggle, they will be blessed.
As mentioned earlier, being blessed is having a divine level of joy and hope, and that no matter what you’re going through you have the confident assurance that God is with you side by side through the whole thing.
As long as we hold onto the promises that Christ made to us here in this passage, we’ll be well equipped to battle whatever comes our way. Just keep believing and trusting in Jesus.
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!John 15:11 NLT
I wanted to share this last verse in this section with you because there’s a very important point I wanted to drive home here.
Just as I discussed in part 1 of this series, these fruits of the Spirit that a believer can experience are not by the power of the individual, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
With that being said, this level of joy is not possible without the Holy Spirit dwelling within the believer. Here, Jesus makes it very clear that this joy that is available to the believer is HIS joy.
It is by His power that we are able to handle and navigate through the difficult waters of life. It is His joy that will sustain us during our most depressing moments of life, and keep us well grounded during times of immense blessing.
Without His joy, we would sink to the darkest pits of depression, which can lead to very frightening decisions, and also believe that we no longer need Him during a season of prosperity.
Without Christ we are nothing. He wants nothing but the best for us, but just know this; if you’re going through a moment of extreme difficulty today, just stay focused on Him.
Your difficulty doesn’t mean that Christ has abandoned you, that’s just the way life is. Instead, just know that He has promised to bless you at the end.
The Key To Divine Joy
Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.John 17:13 NLT
Want to know what the key is to experiencing divine joy? It’s having real relationship with Jesus Christ. It really is as simple as that. Just as God is love, He is also joy. Jesus is the central source of joy in all of existence.
While here physically on earth, Jesus taught and spoke many things to His disciples. The goal of everything He said to them was to fill each and every one of them with His joy.
The only one of the original 12 disciples who was not filled with the Joy of Jesus Christ was Judas. Even though he felt extreme levels of guilt for betraying Jesus, He didn’t have it in Him to seek forgiveness, which then resulted in Him committing suicide.
As for the rest of the disciples, while they were far from perfect, it was the joy of Jesus Christ that allowed them to carry out the Great Commission, even to their death.
You can’t expect to have this divine level of joy in you if you refuse to fully submit to Jesus Christ and have a real relationship with Him.
However, should you decide to do so, you’ll be blown away by the strength you’ll possess while going through life’s ups and downs.
Attaining Divine Joy
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.Philippians 4:4-5
Life has a way of really bringing our spirits down. Whether that be a crumbling marriage, a financial setback, job loss, death of a loved one, or any other horrible circumstances, the Holy Spirit can give us the power to stand firm in our faith during these tragic moments.
When we fully trust and believe in God, the joy provided to us by Jesus Christ surpasses all understanding of what we think is possible with this powerful emotion.
Others may see your life crumbling all around, yet they see that you express hope and joy in moments that they would expect you to be completely broken.
This peaks their curiosity. It is this level of faith that preaches the Gospel louder than any man wearing a 3-piece suit standing at a pulpit.
It is because you look at life from a completely different perspective than they do. You understand that despite what the human eyes see, God is in complete control.
You have an understanding that the joy of Jesus Christ surpasses even your understanding. You know God has your back.
The outside world wants to believe in God, but they’re not wanting to be told by someone screaming at them to believe. They want to be told by seeing our faith in action.
They want to finally see someone walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
Best part of it all, is that Jesus Christ is coming back soon. If nothing else, that alone should fill you with hope and joy, knowing that the King of all Kings and Lord of lords is returning.
When He returns, He will fulfill even more promises to those who follow Him.
So if you’re going through it right now, I just want to tell you to rejoice. Draw closer to Jesus in these dark times. Dig into His word, learn more about who He is and the promises He has for you.
Hold onto those promises, and he will give you rest, hope and most of all, joy.
3 Occurrences of Joy
In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”Luke 15:10 NLT
Yes, God and His host of angels also express tremendous joy in Heaven, even when just one person repents of their sins and accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
This is all the proof one would need if they ever wondered if God enjoyed sending people to Hell. The obvious answer is a resounding no, but this verse seals the deal.
Jesus told 2 parables, one was called The Parable of the Lost Sheep, and the other was The Parable of the Lost Coin. In both, it illustrates how God is the one who goes out to seek the lost.
If you’re someone who is a believer in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, it is because He found you.
Many of us make the mistake of saying, “I found Jesus!”, when the truth is, it’s the other way around. We love God because He loved us first.
I just wish it were possible to witness on this side of Heaven, what it’s like when someone repents of their sins and the amount of joy God and His angels express. That would be awesome to hear and see!
But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah.Acts 8:4-8 NLT
Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims.
And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.
This is mind blowing stuff! During this time, believers in Jerusalem were being persecuted, and as a result were forced out of their homes.
However, as you can see in the passage above, these were believers that were absolutely full of the Spirit! They didn’t let the bad circumstances of their time affect their faith in Jesus.
Instead, what the Devil meant for evil the Lord turned into victory. These believers went out and brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone and everyone who would listen.
These were bold men and women of God who, despite their hardships, put their faith into action and brought shame to the kingdom of darkness.
The supernatural power of joy was being made manifest among the people. Demons were being cast out and the sick healed. This is a perfect example of holding onto the Lord’s promises in times of struggle.
The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them.Matthew 28:8-10 NLT
And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”
The two women here was Mary Magdalene and another Mary (not Jesus’ earthly mother). They had gone to visit the tomb that Jesus was placed in on a Sunday morning, then when they got there an angel appeared.
The guards that were guarding the tomb fainted from fear when they witnessed this angel. The angel told the two women that Jesus was no longer in the tomb, and they He was on His way to Galilee.
The angel even invited the two women to go in and see for themselves that His body was no longer there. As he sat on the huge stone that blocked the entrance to the tomb, he instructed them to go to Galilee and tell the disciples that Jesus is alive.
So they ran off to do as they were told, meanwhile they were full of extreme joy. Just imagine how they must’ve felt! Even though they believed in Jesus while he walked this earth, and believed all that he said, it was still earth-shattering to find out that He was risen!
Now guess what? I tell you the same thing! Jesus is alive and He is risen! While His physical body is not here, His Spirit lives inside of those who believe in and follow Him.
By His Spirit, you can experience the divine level of joy that we have learned about today. We are all human can can always find room for improvement in our relationship with the Lord.
Always remember this, your joy is in direct proportion to your relationship with Jesus Christ. If you lack joy, then it would be time to self-reflect on what could be causing this and bring it to the Lord in prayer.
As always, I urge you to study His word and to strengthen your prayer life if need be. These 2 basic principles are the foundation to abundant faith.
Thank you for making it to the end of this post. I hope that you were blessed by the information presented to you today as much as I was while putting it together for you.
Today we learned the following:
The difference between joy and happiness
What true joy is
The key to divine joy
Attaining divine joy
3 Occurrences of joy
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May God bless you and your family.