A fruit of the Spirit is … Joy
There were times in my life that I lived between the floor and the polish. Times when things weren’t going well. Times when I longed to experience a little bit of joy. Real joy.
Then I started dreaming. If I could just earn a little bit more money, then I would find joy. Soon I saw that money doesn’t bring joy. And when I look back on my life, I realise that I also looked in other places. Status, friends, work, family and even the church. But the joy I found was temperamental. Up and down like a seesaw. When you wake up the next morning and smell your coffee, you know the joy was too thin, too plastic and just too little to replace real joy.
But where can you find joy then? According to Paul real joy is the result of the Spirit’s work inside us. In other words, we can’t get joy by ourselves. Only with the Holy Spirit as Partner, as Friend, as Helper can we achieve real joy. People who allow the Spirit to work in them experience 22… exuberance about life.
The road to real joy starts when we see ourselves for who we really are, what we are able to achieve, and where we are going. That’s the point where we sit down in sackcloth and ashes, realising that hell is our final destination. That is a point of total desolation and the complete opposite of any joy.
What a relief that the Holy Spirit time and again come and reminds us of what Jesus had done for us on the cross. When the Spirit breaks open the message of salvation for us and in a way gives our lives back to us and the final destination changes from hell to heaven, joy explodes in you. Then you and your head becomes drunk with joy! At times like these you want to jump for joy! There is no greater event in your life than the moment you wake up and see reality. God loves us so much that despite our own selves, He came and grabbed us from the eternal fire and gave us life as a gift.
That is real joy. Joy that doesn’t go up and down like a seesaw. It’s not joy that changes according to our circumstances. No, this real joy remains constant even though your wallet is empty or your job or your relationships or the news about this country make you weep.
And I can hear you say that you don’t always feel that kind of joy. You say that it’s difficult to smile when life wears you down. Yes, I know, I feel that way too. I also permit circumstances to steal my joy. I also toss and turn at night when I think about all I have to do that week. Sometimes I also worry about my relationships and finances and many other things and then I struggle to experience joy.
Maybe it’s time that we give more space to the Spirit when we worry about managing and dealing with life. Yesterday’s worries are past and we’re still alive. Was it really worth worrying like that? We can be really short-sighted sometimes!
Let’s say it to one another again: People who are controlled by the Spirit experience beautiful joy. Other people envy that kind of fruit. Joy is one of those fruits. Let’s make a point of asking the Holy Spirit to help us to draw joy from the salvation of Jesus Christ and keep focusing on that. Let’s put everything in perspective so that we can understand that the things presented by the world as real joy are simply plastic.
Let’s go out there and live life to the full. Despite the circumstances. Let’s push our lives into the red and know that Jesus gives us a chance again and again and has changed the final destination from hell to heaven. May others look at us and say: They have: 22… exuberance about life.
What does your fruit look like?
Will the Spirit put his sticker on it?
Do people see the real joy in your life?
Joy, real joy is actually what it is all about, Lord. The rest is simply noise. But this is not always characteristic of my life. I realise I’m looking in the wrong places. Please help me to focus on You, always. Amen