The fruit of the Spirit is love, then joy. Immediately after love comes joy. Little Pot is a fruit-bearing vessel created by the potter who is given the privilege of growing fruit. You can find the story here. The story mirrors a relationship that we have with our creator. We are also vessels created to bear fruit. This fruit is called the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). It is the very substance that God grows in us when we allow Him to work within our lives. It is described in these verses with a list of nine words. Therefore, each week we look at a word from the list and what Paul meant when he told of this fruit to the church.
Consequently, last week, we looked at what love is. Click here to read how the Bible describes this love. In addition, click here to see how to explain love to children. This week, we are attempting to define the second word in description, joy.
What is joy?
Google defines joy simply as a feeling of pleasure and happiness. Dictionaries describe it as an emotion of delight caused by something good. Likewise, it is the expression of glad feelings.
However, the fruit of the Spirit Paul is describing is not feelings. He explains that producing this fruit is done when we “live by the Spirit” instead of “living by the flesh.” He lists acts of the flesh in verses 19-21. These behaviors arise when we allow our feelings to control us. Therefore, we must dig deeper to know what this type of joy truly is.
What is joy in the Bible?
Biblical joy is a choice. It shows contentment and satisfaction in all circumstances because we know God works in every situation. It has more to do with the future than the present. Throughout the Bible, people find joy in what God will do above what is happening at the moment. The Bible Project has a great video to explain joy.
Are happiness and joy the same thing?
Happiness and joy are sometimes used as synonyms. However, joy is something much deeper than the feeling of happiness. As we’ve stated above, joy is more than a feeling. It comes from the Holy Spirit. God supernaturally gives it to us despite our circumstances. Joy is everlasting, and happiness is temporary.
Three practical ways to grow the fruit of the Spirit: joy
Want to understand how you can grow joy and the fruit of the Spirit? For example, do you struggle to find joy when your circumstances seem more significant than Jesus’ promises? The qualities produced through us by the Holy Spirit require our participation. Our lives should cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. However, understanding how to become fruit-bearing vessels is a God-sized calling and one of the most important things we do as followers of Christ. Likewise, I’ve seen how God produces the fruit of the Spirit, and I’ve explained the process in seven steps. I have used these steps with children, teachers, and parents. It includes the three areas of spiritual, social, and academic growth. In these areas, you’ll learn practical things to do. Consequently, you will be a fruit-bearing vessel.
If you join me on this fruit-bearing journey, I promise we will see how God works in our lives and with others around us. Just type in your email address and name below.
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